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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Coca-Cola Opens West Coast HQ at Spectrum Terrace

Local hub for both brands and partners

The Coca-Cola Co. opened its new West Coast operations facility with much fanfare at the Spectrum Terrace office campus late last month.

Company executives and city officials—as well as the company’s trademark polar bear—celebrated a ribbon-cutting of the nearly 10,000-square-foot Irvine office on Sept. 20.

The Irvine hub will serve as the new headquarters for the West Zone operations of the Atlanta-based beverage giant (NYSE: KO), which was valued around $250 billion as of last week.

The company’s West Zone operations include the oversight of over a dozen states and territories, including California, Colorado and Washington.

Pamela Stewart, president of the company’s North America Operating Unit-West Zone, touted the space as a hub for “connection, collaboration and coaching.”

“We are committed to the Irvine community,” Stewart said.

Irvine Hub

Coca-Cola relocated to Spectrum Terrace from another Irvine Co.-owned office property, 3 Park Plaza within the Jamboree Center complex, which has been a hub of sorts for the brand locally.

“This new office is slightly smaller than our prior space, but it is more efficient and modern,” Stewart told the Business Journal during a tour of the space.

It will serve as a base for 125 employees on a flexible basis, including sales and marketing roles, food service operations, public affairs and sustainability.

“Spectrum Terrace represented an opportunity to have a modern, modular space with great amenities and spaces to collaborate and connect,” Stewart said.

The office includes a variety of Coca-Cola products, including a Costa Coffee machine—the firm acquired the U.K.-based chain in 2018—and other beverages within the brand such as Smartwater, Barg’s Root Beer, Gold Peak Tea and Topo Chico.

Local Ties

Coca-Cola counts about 200 brands in total worldwide. It also counts a 19.3% stake in the region’s most valuable beverage company, Corona-based Monster Beverage Corp. (Nasdaq: MNST), which is valued around $46 billion and whose top two execs, Rodney Sacks and Hilton Schlosberg, live in Orange County.

Coca-Cola-affiliated businesses have long counted an Irvine presence, most notably with the bottling company. Reyes Coca-Cola, which distributes to West Coast and Midwest markets.

Reyes Coca-Cola will maintain its local base at 3 Park Plaza, according to officials.

Jack & Coke

Coca-Cola’s office within 17400 Laguna Canyon delivered last year as part of the second phase of the Irvine Co. campus along the San Diego (405) Freeway. The two largest tenants in the building are Chicago-based RSM US LLP, an audit, tax and consulting firm specializing in the middle market; and Pasadena-based iHerb, an online vitamins and supplements retailer. Both tenants occupy 30,000 square feet.

Soon to be situated in the office space directly across from Coca-Cola is wine and spirits producer Brown-Forman Corp., which owns best-selling American whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s.

Brown-Forman is also relocating from 3 Park Plaza.

The two companies already count a relationship; in June, they announced they would make the Jack & Coke cocktail as a ready-to-drink, pre-mixed beverage. The canned beverage, which will also include a zero-sugar version, is expected to debut in Mexico at the end of the year.

Other tenants in the 17400 Laguna building include Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Endpoint and Oakwood Wealth Partners.

Final Phase

The relocation marks “a critical investment that will position Coca-Cola close to its key markets and customers,” the firm said in a statement. The office is expected to play a key role for upcoming events where the company’s traditionally been a big sponsor, such as the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Stewart pointed to the various technology tenants—including e-commerce giant Amazon—at Spectrum Terrace as another pro for the location.

When asked about potential partnerships with such companies like Amazon, Stewart said: “Not yet, but just you wait.”

Amazon is expected to move into the campus by the end of the month, when the third and final phase of the campus will deliver. That phase will bring the campus office total to roughly 1 million square feet and will include an Olympic-length, four-lane swimming pool with meeting cabanas, capping off the amenity package at the campus.

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