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ATLANTA -- The Krystal Co. is scouting sites around Perimeter Mall for its new headquarters, according to CEO Doug Pendergast.

Pendergast announced Wednesday the mini-burger chain would relocate its corporate office from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Atlanta.

RELATED |Krystal moving corporate offices to Metro Atlanta

The company wants about 20,000 square feet, he said, and hopes to open in February 2013, with the goal of transitioning its 60 employees by August 2013.

Krystal wants a location with good transportation access; ample meeting, conference and training space; and the necessary infrastructure to build a full test kitchen, Pendergast said. He wouldn't specify which buildings the company was looking at, but said a lease should be signed in about 30 days.

Founded in Chattanooga by the Davenport family in 1932, Krystal was attracted to Atlanta because it has 60 restaurants here.

"We have more restaurants in Georgia than anywhere else," Pendergast said.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport also was a contributing factor, he said, since it offers direct flights to its other markets.

Krystal is looking to add 150 restaurants in the next five years. Most of those stores will be franchise locations, Pendergast said. Today, the company has 350 restaurants in 11 states. More than 200 of those are company-owned.

Krystal's move to Atlanta could boost local business.

"We are rethinking and relooking at every one of our contracts and every one of our vendors and suppliers," Pendergast said. "Now would be a great time to earn The Krystal Co.'s business."

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