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Darden Corp. sells Orlando HQ for $133M to U.S. Realty Advisors

Darden Corp. sells Orlando HQ for $133M to U.S. Realty Advisors
Darden Corporation's headquarters in Orlando off of S. John Young Parkway. (George Skene / Orlando Sentinel)

Orlando-based Darden Corporation sold its corporate headquarters on Oct. 26 for $133.25 million to an affiliate of U.S. Realty Advisors out of New York City, a leading single-tenant real estate investment and asset management firm.

"We have a very long-term lease now with (Darden) on the property," Richard H. Ader, CEO of U.S. Realty Advisors, told GrowthSpotter Wednesday morning. "We love the city of Orlando, know Darden has been a good citizen there and love them as a tenant."

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U.S. Realty Advisors signed a lease through October 2035 with Darden. The company used a $93.275 million loan from Santander Bank to partially finance the acquisition.

Located at 3801 Taft Vineland Road and the intersection of S. John Young Parkway and the Beachline Expressway, the 45.85-acre property features 545,030 gross square feet of office and data center space across two buildings that were built in 2009. The company's Restaurant Support Center features a net 469,000 square feet.

Darden announced in March it planned to sell its six-year-old corporate headquarters and lease back the building in a long-term deal, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The property serves as a support center with 1,000 employees from the company's seven restaurant brands.

Darden acquired the land as vacant in March 2006 for $1.53 million, and opened the new headquarters in September 2009.

U.S. Realty Advisors invests in large single-tenant office properties and restaurant asset portfolios. The company is actively looking for more investment opportunities in Greater Orlando, but they'd have to offer tenants with a 10-year lease or longer, and asset value of $15 million or more, Ader said.

The sale follows Darden's plan announced earlier this year to sell many of its real estate assets and lease the properties back. In late August, the company sold its flagship Olive Garden parcel on International Drive for an estimated $12 million to a retired New York auto dealership owner, GrowthSpotter reported.

Editor's Note: The fourth paragraph has been updated to correct the gross square footage across two buildings used for office and data center. The size of a third building, the parking garage, was incorrectly included in this total area in an earlier version.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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