Best Buy HQ: The Scale


Here’s Best Buy’s corporate HQ in Richfield, Minnesota [Google Maps]. It’s a big place that takes up an entire suburban mega block at the corner of two interstates (I-35 and I-494). Eminent Domain was used to capture this spot. i’m not going to touch this topic because it’s been covered many times over (hereyou can READ and LOOK at the result).

The scale and parking required for a place like this is absolutely insane. If you look at the site, it’s primarily parking:

bbuy1 - Copy

Now, for the overall scale as compared to the actual buildings:

bbuy1 - Copy (2)

The buildings are outlined in read and have been placed over parking lots at the same scale.

The troubling fact, beyond Best Buy’s decline from 9,000 to around 4,000 employees, is that this is all so unneeded, kills a space that could otherwise be something useful and, of course, Best Buy negotiated itself into a nice property tax deal. So, what does Richfield get? Workers? But in an interconnected world of auto-orientation (and Richfield being in the center of it all), did it really get much?

Did properties rise in values?  No. Why? Because who wants to live by a 4 story parking garage? That’s my weekend rant. Enjoy!

UPDATE 12:20pm – Saturday, 8/10/13

I walked around the Best Buy HQ today. It’s a 1.11 mile walk and it’s not totally unpleasant.

best buy campus walk around 1.1 miles
Best Buy HQ Campus = 1.11 mile loop

I’ll write more later …


4 thoughts on “Best Buy HQ: The Scale

  1. When you mention property values, you seem to be referring to surrounding properties rather than this property itself. This is not surprising since a corporate campus is not likely to generate much interaction with surrounding land uses (except possibly a fast-food lunch rush). How about the value of the property itself? What were the pre-construction value and current value? Just curious.

    1. Good question. I’m not sure of the pre-construction value, but I did find that it generated $768,000 in property taxes. The current Best Buy HQ is listed on Hennepin County’s Property Tax website as: Total Market Value: $118,500,000 / Taxes are $5,155,770.06. It’s an increase for Richfield, even with the 24 year TIF District.

  2. So Best Buy has struggled with its identity in the marketplace for the last decade, imagine if this mega-mess was something of a creative corporate campus neighborhood. One where “the creatives” might be inspired to do just that.

    Your market are those who constantly crave the latest and greatest (or in my case just a classic rock band’s greatest hits), and I would think that for the future of your company you would want to identify not just what you’re selling, but the people who are buying and work for you.

    I’ve worked in the corporate center game before, and you put on your business casual attire and check your creativity at the door. You leave and crave that stimulation that has been lacking for 8 hours. So many ways to reignite this block, but Best Buy will probably go the way of Circuit City by then.

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