The shipping container store was picked up and moved in 19 days

By Mike Pomranz
Updated February 23, 2018
Credit: Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Businesses change locations all the time. Maybe sales were so strong that the owners decided they needed a larger space. Maybe rent went up and the company found a better deal down the street. But a Starbucks location in Colorado recently changed locations in a very unconventional way: The store was literally lifted off the ground and driven to its new location about a mile away.

Granted, this Starbucks location was a bit different from the majority of other Starbucks to begin with. The store—originally located at Bannock Street and West 104th Ave in Northglenn, Colorado—is one of 45 prefabricated Starbucks locations built out of 450-square-foot shipping containers. When the store was moved earlier this month, all the coffee giant had to do was use a crane to lift the prefabbed store off of its old foundation, load it onto a couple “oversize load” flatbed trailers, and drive it to the other side of Interstate-25 where it was placed on top of its new foundation on Washington Street. The whole process—from closing the store to reopening at its new site—took just 19 days.

According to Starbucks, though the brand has been opening this type of prefab location since 2011, this is the first time one of these shipping containers has actually been shipped from where it originally opened. Apparently the move was necessitated by the fact that the tiny prefab store was just too small to fulfill local demand so Starbucks decided to build a larger location nearby. However, by getting driven from one place to another, the already environmentally-friendly store proved that it had another sustainability trick up its sleeve: Simply relocating the store instead of having to tear it down and rebuild elsewhere resulted in “virtually no waste,” according to Starbucks.

“These stores [create] an opportunity for the company to extend into sites not designed for traditional store locations while minimizing the environmental footprint generally associated with net new builds,” the coffee company explained. “Through this store typology, Starbucks is able to reuse reclaimed materials throughout the design as well as reduce construction waste by avoiding site demolition in both the old and new locations.” If you happen to have a crane and two flatbed trucks, these stores are also your best bet for stealing an entire Starbucks store and placing it in your backyard… but we probably shouldn’t be giving anyone any ideas.