Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Zaxby’s Plan For Corporate Campus In Oconee County Nixed As Firm Moves Corporate Offices To Metro Atlanta

***Enterprise Reports Move Expected In Early 2024***

In 2015, Zaxby’s proposed to build a $42 million corporate campus on Daniells Bridge Road just west of its current corporate offices on Founders Boulevard.

The campus was to include corporate offices, test kitchens, educational areas, a cafeteria, a Zaxby’s private restaurant, employee gymnasium, and employee daycare facilities.

Also proposed were walking and jogging trails, a pond or ponds, and eating and gathering areas.

Land clearance was expected to begin in September or October of 2016, and completion of the first building was anticipated to be in September or October of 2018.

No action was ever taken on those plans, and The Oconee Enterprise is reporting in tomorrow’s edition that Zaxby’s is moving its corporate offices to Brookhaven in western DeKalb County within the first quarter of 2024.

Its unclear what will happen to the current five-building corporate office complex sitting on just more than five acres at 1040 Founders Boulevard.

The just less than 90 acres that had been designated for the corporate campus is being listed for sale by NAIElrod Group, and the 6.4-acre tract east of the existing headquarters used as a helipad is being listed by Boswell Properties of Athens.

Zax LLC, which handles franchising and other Zaxby’s function, also has an office in Building 200 of University Parkway Office and Technology Park, 2500 Daniells Bridge Road. What will happen with that operation and space also is unclear.

Atlanta Land Purchase

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported on Jan. 30 that Zaxby’s has selected around 50,000 square feet of space at Perimeter Summit, an 83-acre mixed-use campus in Brookhaven in western DeKalb County.

Entrance To Corporate Offices Off Founder's Boulevard

The paper named “sources with knowledge of the market” for the report.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle had reported in October that Zaxby’s was looking for space for a potential headquarters relocation.

Oconee Enterprise editor and publisher Michael Prochaska is reporting that the company has been offering severance packages to corporate employees in Oconee County throughout 2022 and in the first few months of 2023.

Those who are staying with the company have been informed that the company headquarters will relocate to Perimeter Summit in Brookhaven within the first quarter of 2024, according to the Enterprise.

NAIElrod Group has been listing the nearly 90 acres that was to be the corporate campus since early 2021, and the Boswell Group began listing the 6.4-acre tract east of the existing headquarters about the same time, according to its listing date.

Ownership Of Land

Oconee County boyhood buddies Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley founded Zaxby’s in Statesboro in 1990.

In late 2020, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division acquired a stake in the 900-unit chain, which has locations in 17 states.

McLeroy stepped back from his role as chief executive officer of the company to serve as chairman of Zaxby’s. Townley is no longer involved in leadership of the company.

According to county tax records, M&T Development LLC, with offices at 1040 Founders Boulevard, Suite 100, owns seven properties on Daniells Bridge Road and Founders Boulevard.

Two of those properties, at 1040 Founders Boulevard, have the five buildings on them that make up the current Corporate Offices of Zaxby’s.

The remaining five properties make up what was to be the corporate campus.

Townley owns the additional piece of property on Daniells Bridge Road that is being used as the helipad.

Existing Buildings

The five buildings at 1040 Founders Boulevard officially make up Founder’s Executive Park, but the sign at the front of the complex states it is Zaxby’s Corporate Headquarters.

The buildings sit on what is officially two separate tax parcels, but both are owned by M&T Development LLC.

The larger parcel, which includes the two buildings closest to Daniells Bridge Road, is 3.75 acres and assessed at $2.7 million.

Each of the two buildings is two stories and 6,894 square feet in size. Each was built in 2001, according to the tax records.

The smaller parcel is 1.47 acres and assessed at $3.9 million.

Each of the buildings is two stories with 6,894 square feet of space. One of these buildings was constructed in 2006, and the other two in 2007, according to the county tax records.

Corporate Campus Plans

M&T Development LLC assembled the five properties that were to make up the corporate campus from different owners. Part of the property formerly was a nursery and greenhouse business.

Rendition Of Planned Offices 2015

All but one of the properties was purchased after the Board of Commissioners approved the rezone for the campus on Dec. 1, 2015, according to tax records.

The properties remain as separate parcels on the tax record, with a combined assessed value of $5.0 million.

NAIElrod Group is listing the property as a single 89.8 acre parcel at $7 million.

That parcel has lengthy frontage on Daniells Bridge Road and runs all the way back to Barber Creek, opposite the River Haven subdivision off Mars Hill Road.

A part of the property fronting on Daniells Bridge Road had been zoned B-2 (Highway Business) in 1990 for a shopping center and restaurants and rezoned in 2007 for two office buildings each five stories high.

The NAIElrod listing states in reference to the zoning for 2015 that “This zoning is perfect for offices, business and service activities and light industrial operations.”

Helipad Property

The 6.4 acre parcel on the southeastern corner Founders Boulevard and Daniells Bridge Road has an assessed value of just more than $1 million.

Helipad With Boswell Sign, Looking To Corporate Offices

The only improvement on the property is the sodded helipad, which is not reflected in the tax record.

The Boswell group has it listed for $1.5 million.

The property is owned by Daniell’s Bridge Partners LLC, 1280 Snows Mill Road, which is owned by Townley Family Partnership LLLP, through which Townley controls his large holdings in Oconee County.

Townley is listed as the organizer of the Daniell’s Bridge Partners LLC.

Founders Grove Enterprises Inc., sold multiple parcels, including this one and the two parcels on which the current Zaxby’s Corporate Headquarter sits, to Zaxby’s Holdings LLC in 1999.

Founders Grove Enterprises was a partnership of John D. Sosbee and Mike Thornton, which developed Founder’s Grove.

Zaxby’s Holdings sold the property To M&T Development in 2010, and M&T Development sold it to Daniell’s Bridge Partners in 2015.

Other Boswell Listings

Boswell Properties also is listing 14.2 acres on Daniells Bridge Road just west of the nearly 90 acres that had been zoned for the Zaxby’s corporate campus.

In addition, Boswell Property is listing 3.6 acres on the southwest corner of the intersection of the Oconee Connector, Mars Hill Road, and Daniells Bridge Road.

Faded Boswell Property listing signs still appear on the property on the northwest corner of that intersection.

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners turned down a rezone request for a shopping center with a Publix on that site on Feb. 7.

Attorneys for property owner Deferred Tax LLC said they would sue if the county did not grant their rezone request.

They filed suit on March 6.

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