Starbucks inks deal for upscale roastery, restaurant at 61 Ninth

Coffee giant to take 20K sf at Vornado, Aurora's Meatpacking District building under construction

Apr.April 05, 2016 03:24 PM

Despite negotiations to open a high-end restaurant and roastery at 860 Washington Street earlier this year, Starbucks Coffee signed a lease at another proposed office-and-retail building in the Meatpacking District.

The coffee giant plans to occupy 20,000 square feet across the ground floor and lower level at Vornado Realty Trust and Aurora Capital Associates’ 61 Ninth Avenue at the corner of West 15th Street. The nine-story Rafael Vinoly-designed property on the former Prince Lumber site is now under construction.

The chain announced on its website Tuesday the new location and the expected opening date of 2018.

The lease term is for more than 15 years, sources told The Real Deal.

Starbucks, which signed the lease last month, is the first tenant to join the building’s tenant roster. The developers are considering either retail or office on the second floor, and offices on the upper floors.

Asking rents are $650 per square foot on the ground floor and $150 per square foot on the lower level.

This outpost is not an ordinary Starbucks. It will be a restaurant, café and lounge in the vein of the 15,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room location in Seattle, making it one of the largest Starbucks locations in the world.

The Roastery in Seattle serves as a site for roasting the chain’s upscale Reserve coffee lines, which are sold exclusively at Starbucks locations worldwide. One of the stores that sells Reserve coffees is located nearby, at 525 West 26th Street in Chelsea.

David Firestein of the Shopping Center Group represented Starbucks, while Vornado’s Ed Hogan and Aurora Capital’s Jared Epstein represented the landlords in-house. Firestein brought the city’s first Starbucks to the Upper West Side more than 20 years ago. Epstein and Firestein declined to comment, while Hogan could not be reached.

In January, Starbucks was negotiating terms to occupy the base of Romanoff Equities and Property Group Partners’ 860 Washington Street. Tesla Motors had also previously been in talks for that space. The developers of that 10-story building has not yet secured a tenant.

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