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Coffee giant Starbucks has sold two of its Seattle office buildings to a San Francisco-based real estate investment outfit, it has been reported.
The company sold 505 First Avenue and 83 South King Street, both located on Pioneer Square, to Spear Street Capital for USD 125 million.
Starbucks purchased the property on King Street for USD 28.7 million in 2006 and started construction on the building on First Avenue in 2007. The buildings are connected and have an occupancy rate of 70 percent.
Some of the tenants of the space include Sharebuilder, Nuance Communications and Isilon Systems.
The President of Spear Street Capital, John Grassi, told the Seattle Times that his company liked the office space because of the area it was located and predicts that new tenants will consist of media and technology companies.
The sale of the buildings was prompted by Starbucks decline in fortunes during the financial crisis and recession which followed.
Currently Pioneer Square has the overall largest vacancy rate of any development in Seattle at 21 percent.
Much of the empty space in Pioneer Square used to be occupied by Disney and online retailer Amazon.com.
Meanwhile Starbucks recently implemented a plan to cut down on those that use the cafes for office space by covering up the electrical outlets in the store, thereby denying such ‘squatters’ the chance to keep their laptops powered.
“Customers are asking. They just purchased a latte and a pastry, and there is nowhere to sit down in some of these high-volume stores,” said Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz.
The company is letting individual cafes decide whether to cover their outlets or not.