Though Bob Evans Farms is set to move its headquarters next year, the company still will be based in New Albany, according to CEO Mike Townsley.
Bob Evans Farms, which specializes in prepared foods, will move from the building it had been sharing with Bob Evans Restaurants at 8111 Smith's Mill Road in New Albany to lease a two-floor, 42,000-square-foot building on Walton Parkway, Townsley said.
Daimler Group is developing the building, which Bob Evans Farms will lease, Townsley said. Construction began this summer, he said, and the building should be completed by May.
The new location is on Walton Parkway west of U.S. Route 62, but it does not yet have an address said Elizabeth Sedlock of Sedlock Partners, which is representing Bob Evans Farms.
Bob Evans Restaurants will remain based on the Smith's Mill Road campus, said Sara Rosenberg Bittorf, senior vice president chief marketing officer. The 40-acre campus opened in 2013 after Bob Evans leaders decided to move the company's longtime headquarters from south Columbus.
Bob Evans Farms and Bob Evans Restaurants parted ways last year after the sale of the latter to private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that also owns Red Lobster and California Pizza Kitchen, for $565 million.
Not long after, in September, St. Louis-headquartered food conglomerate Post Holdings bought Bob Evans Farms for $1.53 billion.
Under that deal, Post's Michaels Foods division merged with Bob Evans Farms.
The Michaels brands that merged with Bob Evans are AllWhites and Better'n Eggs, Simply Potatoes and a few other smaller retail egg brands, Sedlock said.
About 135 employees will move to the new Bob Evans Farms building, Townsley said, and some positions from Michaels Foods' Minneapolis location moved to New Albany.
When the two Bob Evans divisions parted in 2017, the New Albany headquarters building had 109 Bob Evans Farms employees and 191 Bob Evans Restaurants employees, for a total of 300 full-time employees, Sedlock said at the time.
Although the new building provides room for the business to grow, Bob Evans Farms has no timeline for which to hire more employees, Townsley said.
However, because many employees live in New Albany, providing a new location close to the company's existing one was important, he said.
"We wanted to create as little disruption to our employees as we could," he said.
Bob Evans Farms is a community partner, said New Albany community-development director Jennifer Chrysler.
City and company officials met regularly to understand site needs and help them find options to stay and grow in New Albany, she said.
"A successful business-retention strategy enables a community to work with corporate citizens through fluctuations in the economy, changes in market conditions and internal business shifts," Chrysler said. "This is a great example of a community and a business working together to maintain a long-term and healthy relationship."
JD Malone of The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this story.