A&W Restaurants will move its global headquarters to the city’s newest industrial park adjacent to the Coldstream Research Park, city officials announced Tuesday.
A&W will purchase three of 50 acres of shovel-ready property near the Coldstream Research campus for $585,000. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council approved the sale at a meeting Tuesday.
A&W plans to build a new, global headquarters on the site. A&W, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, moved its corporate headquarters to Lexington in 2012.
But it won’t be moving far. It’s current headquarters is located in a different building inside the current Coldstream Research Park, according to its web site.
“We set up offices for A&W in Lexington in 2012 with a long-term mind set. Development of our own offices just furthers that commitment,” said Kevin Bazner, CEO for A&W Restaurants, Inc. “We are very happy to be associated with the city of Lexington.”
Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city of Lexington, said A&W leases its current office space in Coldstream. It has now outgrown that space.
“They are investing in our community by building their own building. This is a global brand. It is very important for us to attract global headquarter operations and assist in their growth,” Straub said. Moreover, 80 percent of job growth comes from companies already located in communities not new companies moving in, she said.
When A&W moved its headquarters back to Lexington, it created 30 jobs. “A&W anticipates future job growth,” Straub said.
In 2017, the city transferred ownership of several streets surrounding the University of Kentucky campus to the university in exchange for hundreds of acres of land for a new industrial park. Part of that deal included 50 acres of land that is part of the Coldstream Research Park that was “shovel-ready,” meaning no improvements to the land were needed. In addition, UK gave the city 200 acres near Interstate 75 for an industrial park. That site still needs improvements before it can be sold to potential businesses
As part of that deal with the university, UK will receive half of the $585,000. The deal must be completed by January 2020, according to details released by the city on Tuesday. The city has said proceeds from the sale of the 50 acres will help pay for upgrades to the 200 acres.
“We’ve put a strong plan in place to attract new business and help local businesses grow at Coldstream,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “It’s great that the first business is local, and that it is a global headquarters. Congratulations, A&W!”