The new global headquarters for A&W Restaurants Inc., this year celebrating the centennial of its founding, will likely be the first company to locate in the city’s new industrial park in Coldstream Research Campus.
“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!”
“We set up offices for A&W in Lexington in 2012 with a long-term mindset. 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,”
The Urban County Council took the first step today to sell three acres of the Coldstream property to A&W for a total of $585,000. The company plans to build a new building to house its corporate headquarters.
In 2017, the City obtained 250 acres in or near the Coldstream campus to use for economic development. The University of Kentucky traded the acreage in exchange for ownership of sections of several city streets near campus, a win-win that addressed many of the economic development needs of the City, and the pedestrian safety needs of the University.
Under the terms of the agreement between UK and the City, each will receive half of the sale price of the Coldstream property. The agreement with A&W requires that the sale be finalized by Jan. 15, 2020.
When she took office in January, Mayor Gorton immediately asked for a development plan for the Coldstream property, including the 50 acres inside Coldstream that are shovel ready (where A&W is locating), and another 200 acres nearby that are adjacent to I-75. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Industrial Authority is charged with managing the sale of the property.
“The Coldstream property gives us the opportunity to bring many new, good-paying jobs to Lexington,” Gorton said. “We need to maximize this opportunity with a strong development plan.”
A&W moved its headquarters back to Lexington in 2012. The move created 30 good jobs and the company anticipates job growth will continue.
With a history that dates back to 1919, A&W® Root Beer is still the nation’s number one selling root beer, mixed daily at hundreds of A&W restaurants. The company was once part of Yorkshire Brands, which was located in Lexington in the 1990s.