White Castle and city leaders broke ground Thursday on a new, $65 million Columbus headquarters. Flanked by a "town cryer" in period costume, a line of dignitaries dug shovel-sized spatulas into the ground next to the burger chain's current home office near Grandview.
Jamie Richardson, White Castle's vice president, picked out a tie dotted with sliders for the occasion. He says there’s more to their plan than revamping the company headquarters
"More importantly, we're developing 17 acres that we've been on since 1934,” Richardson says. “We have 10,000 team members around the country and we know that by developing the property we'll have rents and other things coming in that help us support our team members for the long haul. So we're super excited about that."
Richardson says the construction will help keep existing jobs in place. But rather than making room for new employees, it seems the plan is to establish an additional revenue stream for the company. The new development will include an additional office building and more than 200 apartments, as well as green space.
“We've seen physically the landscape change around us dramatically,” Richardson says. “Used to be we were on the edge of town, but now it feels like we're in the middle of town. We're right in between Grandview Yards and right in between downtown, and we feel it's a great location, and we're going to have the chance to share that with more neighbors and friends as we develop this property."
White Castle is expecting to move into their new space by the end of next year.