Ritz or Roast? Is This The New Rush Street Starbucks?

Flagship Starbucks drawing

As the retail chess match on Oak Street starts to settle down a little, more pressure is being put on Rush Street to pick up the slack.

The bad economy forced a lot of changes in Chicago’s premiere boutique shopping zone.  Those who could, traded up.  Others faded away.  Still there are lots of stores, both home grown and international, that would like a slice of what’s going on in 60611.   At first, the overflow landed on Walton Street, and now we’re seeing more and more interest in Rush Street.

Penguin (901 North Rush Street), Diesel (923 North Rush Street), and Marc Jacobs (11 East Walton Street) were the leaders in the Rush Renaissance when it started a few years ago.  Others followed, and now the latest three-story non-event to have a date with the wrecking ball is 1003 North Rush Street.

What’s 1003?  It’s OK if the address doesn’t ring a bell.  It’s a flat white box built around 1932.  Perhaps because of the date, the style can be considered Art Moderne, but to uneducated eyes it’s just bland.  It’s probably best known for being the storefront next to Prada.  Oh, and it also has Geneva Seal on the ground floor, which is moving to Oak Street anyway.

The plan right now is to tear the whole place down and put up a new two-story commercial space faced in wood, meaning the new place will be a story shorter than the old place.  Total floor space should end up a little over 6,000 square feet.

The only really notable elements of the new building at this point are:

  • There will be a second-floor balcony hanging five feet over the public sidewalk.
  • Green roof alert!

The green roof in question clocks in at 1,044 square feet.  Not too bad considering the entire lot is only 3,030 square feet.

1003 North Rush was one of the buildings we skipped last time we were taking photographs in the neighborhood (we got 1007!), but Alderman Reilly’s office has been good enough to supply a rendering of the new building (above).  Click the squares below to see more details about the project, or if you’re a PDF fan, here’s the version from the alderman’s office.

And if you want to go all NIMBY on it, there will be a public hearing to discuss the project on Wednesday, May 11th at 6:00pm at 1201 North Clark Street.

A few other details:

  • Developer: 3001 Development LLC.
  • Architect: TSC Design Associates of New York.
  • Green roof space required by the city for a building of this size: 960 square feet.
  • Building size (roughly because it’s not square): 108.3 feet x 28.3 feet.
  • Balcony and roof projection: Stained wood slats, backed with LED lighting.
  • Storefront recessed from the sidewalk to make room for a planter.


Catching up on some reading, we note that Racked Chicago believes this building will be the new location for the Starbucks currently located at 932 North Rush Street.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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