C asual dining giant Darden Restaurants, which operates major franchises like Red Lobster and Olive Garden, has broken ground on its $100 million corporate headquarters in Orlando, Fla. Designed by Chicago-based Perkins+Will, with Hardin Construction, Atlanta, as general contractor, the facility will achieve LEED certification with green features such as grey water irrigation, a reflective roof system, high-efficiency HVAC chillers, and an open workspace plan that maximizes natural light.
The three-story, 450,000-sf project will accommodate more than 1,500 corporate employees and will include a 30,000-sf culinary development center, 25,000-sf training center, onsite dining facility, fitness and wellness center, company store, bank branch, and 17,000-sf data center. Trammell Crow is developing the project, which will be the largest office building constructed in Orlando in the last decade. Completion: January 2009.