Case Study

Starbucks HQ

Starbucks HQ

A headquarters so flexible that even one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. can’t grow out of it.

Transaction Details

Client: Starbucks Corporation
Size: 1M SF
Space Type: Office
Sector: Corporate
Service Line: Brokerage, Consulting & Strategic Planning, Portfolio Management & Optimization
Keywords: HQ, Adaptive re-use
Total Client Transactions: 30+

Detailed Expertise

  • Site selection and negotiation services
  • Qualitative and complex GAAP, tax and financial analysis
  • Acquisition, feasibility analysis, project formation
  • Negotiations related to city zoning and use regulations
  • Strategic acquisition of surrounding properties for flexibility


Over 20 years ago, Starbucks had fewer than 100 stores but big plans — so big that the company thought a suburban office campus was the only answer to their need for expansive space at an affordable price. But Starbucks was, and is, an urban creation. With that in mind, Kinzer set out to find a unique city-based alternative that would support the Starbucks brand and give it the flexibility to grow.


After considerable investigation, Kinzer began to zero in on a former Sears warehouse with more than one million SF of space on a developing edge of downtown Seattle. The building, combined with a creative lease structure providing unprecedented flexibility, was able to accommodate Starbucks’ tremendous growth that was beyond even their most optimistic projections. The rest is history. After leasing an initial 100,000 SF, Starbucks had the ability to expand on demand, eventually occupying 1.1 million SF over 20 years.

Today, the revitalized Starbucks Center is a landmark in the now bustling SODO neighborhood and a testament to Starbuck’s commitment to the environment and adaptive re-use. At the time, the retrofit of this building was the only Sears warehouse in the national portfolio to be re-used instead of demolished.

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