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Olive Garden eyed for vacant spot near Martinsburg Mall

February 07, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • This site near the Martinsburg Mall and next to Interstate 81 in Martinsburg, W.Va., is being eyed as a home to an Olive Garden. The deal is still in the negotiating stages.
By Matthew Umstead, Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Martinsburg Mall is negotiating with a Florida company to open an Olive Garden restaurant along Foxcroft Avenue, according to mall General Manager Robert Gardner.

“We’re hoping to sign a deal in the near future,” Gardner said Tuesday.

The mall is currently negotiating a property lease agreement with GMRI Inc., which is affiliated with Orlando-basedDarden Restaurants Inc., according to Gardner.

While no agreement has been reached, Gardner said a letter of intent has been signed, which allowed for the negotiations to proceed. The restaurant is eying a tract the mall owns near the Martin’s grocery store.

The outparcel is at 891 Foxcroft Ave, according to city planning department documents filed last week by GMRI. It is located where a sign for the mall currently stands and is the last undeveloped area along Foxcroft Avenue that fronts Interstate 81.

The mall has other undeveloped outparcels on the back side of the mall, according to Gardner.

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Plans submitted to the city for review by the restaurant company indicate the eatery would seat more than 200 for dining.

Darden said on its website that it is the world’s largest full-service restaurant company with 1,900 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 restaurants in North America.

The first Olive Garden opened 30 years ago, the company said. The Martinsburg location would be the company’s sixth in West Virginia, according to the company’s website.

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