Another WS Starbucks is brewing

One comment on this morning’s commute updates asks, “Can we move on to some real news already?” OK, here’s some. Starbucks will open a full-fledged shop in Jefferson Square (where its first Junction inroads were made at Safeway a year ago). A Starbucks PR person confirms it; we inquired after a Jefferson Square apartment resident e-mailed us about rumors SBUX was headed that way. We believe (still awaiting confirmation on this part) it’s the former Washington Federal space. With the megaproject coming in across Alaska, it’s not surprising SBUX would try to get a jump on the increased traffic.

25 Replies to "Another WS Starbucks is brewing"

  • Christopher Boffoli August 14, 2007 (11:04 am)

    Could any old-school West Seattlers give us some background about Jefferson Square? How long has this monstrosity been around? What was there before?

  • jim August 14, 2007 (11:38 am)

    It used to be the site of a grade school – Jefferson elementary. The school building, as I recall, was located toward the south side of the property, and the north side along Alaska was all playfield. I remember that Edmonds was a fair bit higher than the school grounds and that there was a steep grassy slope between Edmonds and the back of the building. I never attended school there, but I remember I kinda liked the building. Don’t recall why.

  • jim August 14, 2007 (11:40 am)

    By the way, I think the current office building at the North end of the property has some old photos of the Jefferson Elementary handing in the Elevator lobby.

  • Jack August 14, 2007 (11:41 am)

    It was a grade school. Torn down 6-18-1985. See link:

  • Betsy August 14, 2007 (11:54 am)

    The Starbucks in the Jefferson Square Safeway makes horrible, weak coffee. The Starbucks quality control folks should really check them out because it is bad and many people I know refuse to buy there. It’s never very busy.

  • Chet August 14, 2007 (12:02 pm)

    I agree with the SBUX in Safeway, it’s a bad idea unless it is 100% owned and run by SBUX vs Safeway running with Safeway employees.

    Chris – I think Jefferson Square opened the mid 80’s. It was named after the school that used to sit there years ago.

    Jeff Sq is so congested and poorly laid out that I wont be going to this SBUX but I wish them luck there.

  • Chet August 14, 2007 (12:04 pm)

    re my comments on the history, when I typed this up two minutes ago, the only comments were Betsy’s and Chris’s ..

  • Flowerpetal August 14, 2007 (12:06 pm)

    Sigh. I thought I would do Starbucks a favor and point this derelict vendor out to them. However, there Website is so impossible to use and I gave up on sending them a link to this page of the blog with the complaints. Not being a Starbucks customer, I am unsure if there are comment cards at these places and if there are… do the comments make it to corporate? I’m inclined to thing that this shop will come to its just end.

  • Keith August 14, 2007 (1:11 pm)

    I can’t imagine dealing with the nightmare that is Jefferson Square just to get a cup of available-everywhere Starbucks coffee.

    That being said, I do endure Jefferson Square to visit Square One Books, an excellent independent bookstore.

  • huindekmi August 14, 2007 (1:17 pm)

    Isn’t the old Washington Federal space on the lower, outside portion of Jeff. Square? Seems like that would be a decent spot for foot traffic and what not.
    Goodbye Infinity Espresso.

  • Jen V. August 14, 2007 (1:22 pm)

    oooh, just what we need. Another Starbux across the street from more condos. Burien, here I come.

  • m August 14, 2007 (1:27 pm)

    I think STBX will be located in the old espresso shop in Jeff.Square. I try to avoid the upstairs parking lot there at all costs; I’ve never bothered with the lower one since it looks like there are parking fees there.

  • A August 14, 2007 (12:30 pm)

    Flowerpetal and Betsy, send an email to – FYI it is Licensed Store #74972, aka “SAFEWAY 1062” – Include both numbers in your email and give as many specifics about the issues as you can.

    The Safeway stores are licensed to use the brand but are not corporate-owned. However, they really should be providing the same store experience. Definitely send an email and their account manager will be notified.

  • JT August 14, 2007 (1:35 pm)

    m – I parked downstairs last week, everything is set up there to charge for parking (attendant booth, paystation,signage,gates..) but everything was so covered with grime that we didn’t give it much thought. It looked like that idea didn’t go over well with as much free parking as there is around there.

  • GenHillOne August 14, 2007 (1:55 pm)

    Too bad that underground lot doesn’t have an elevator up into the grocery store as others do around town so you could avoid the weird upper parking traffic flow. And although most of those others give parking validation, I’d also pay a buck or two on a rainy day…nothing like loading wet groceries into your car, only to unload wet groceries back at home. If that feature shows up at one of the megaprojects, it will be a draw for me!

  • Bill August 14, 2007 (2:42 pm)

    The parking at the place makes me insane. I will drive to Thriftway for the simplest things if I can’t park on the street.

  • m August 14, 2007 (3:04 pm)

    Yeah, I heard that there is no attendant down there to take money, but it just looks sketchy so I avoid the lower garage. What a poorly designed place; I heard the developer had to make several plan revisions before building and that there were some construction issues too.

    I’ll be happy to see QFC across the street (though I’d rather have Trader Joe’s in WS more!). Is Safeway even staying at Jeff. Square? There has been a HUGE ‘For Lease’ sign up for a while now, and since it is so large I figured it was for a large tenant.

  • Genevieve Williams August 14, 2007 (5:23 pm)

    I’ve parked in the garage quite often; I’ve never seen an attendant there and it seems to be free evenings and weekends anyway.

  • Christopher Boffoli August 14, 2007 (5:25 pm)

    Thanks to all of the kind folks who provided the background info. It is REALLY hard to believe that a design review ever took place in regard to this project, but then again I’m looking at 22 years after the fact. In all fairness, my clothes and hairstyle back in 1985 was probably as bad as this place.

  • m2 August 14, 2007 (5:29 pm)

    GenHillOne: there is an elevator that goes from the grocery store level to the garage below… it is in the office tower. Downstairs you can access it next to the veterinarian

  • Jan August 14, 2007 (7:25 pm)

    frankly, if I was the tenants in the new condos, I’d go the extra coupla blocks to Uptown….

  • Todd in Westwood August 14, 2007 (7:30 pm)

    Gawd, no more Starbucks, Puuuuhhhhhleeeez. Even if they offered to open one up in my garage, I still wouldn’t drink there.

  • The House August 14, 2007 (8:26 pm)

    I haven’t been over there in several months (parking lot sucks), but isn’t there a small cafe in that shopping center already? I grabbed a mocha there and they seemed pretty friendly. Did they go out of business?

  • Gina August 14, 2007 (9:32 pm)

    Is the Jefferson Square block still owned by the Seattle School district? I remember some fuss about how much they charged for the lease of the property vs. how much property is valued at now.

    They tore down Jefferson school because enrollment declined so in the 80s (mostly because of the poorly thought out busing program)and the school district decided not to rebuild, because there were not going to be increasing amounts of school age children in the West Seattle area. Fairmount Park and Lafayette would serve the displaced students.

    At the time seismic damage was given as the excuse to tear down the building, there was some talk of having a Wallingford Center type place, but retrofitting was deemed impossible.

  • Eric B August 15, 2007 (1:34 pm)

    Indeed, the Seattle School District does own the property at Jefferson Square. It is leased long-term (99 years?). There are several other properties that are similarly leased out throughout the district. And yes, there was a small fervor over the rents a few years back.
    I guess I am not sad that Starbucks is moving in there, I am sad that so many people will choose to buy their coffee from them when we have so many terrific locally owned coffee shops. It seems like we really do want chains like Petco, McD, et cetera to take over.

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