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Mag Mile Crate & Barrel store gears up to become world’s largest Starbucks

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Work on Chicago’s upcoming Starbucks Reserve Roastery is expected to be complete next year

A rendering of the completed Starbucks Reserve Roastery at 646 N. Michigan Avenue.

As Crate & Barrel moves its production unit from its Fulton Market offices to a repurposed Marshall Field’s warehouse in Logan Square, the homeware company is also vacating its iconic Magnificent Mile flagship store. Home to C&B for 27 years, the five-story building will reopen next year as the world’s largest Starbucks Reserve Roastery.

Crate & Barrell is set to close the store at 646 N. Michigan Avenue on January 24—possibly even sooner if it manages to liquidate all of its heavily-discounted merchandise before then. In the meantime, the project has already scored a construction permit estimated at $9.7 million.

According to the permit info, the Seattle-based coffee giant has tapped local architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to redesign the 43,000 square-foot space. SCB served as original design architect on the post-modern building back when it was built in 1990. The Mag Mile store went on to inspire dozens of standalone Crate & Barrel stores across the country.

The upcoming mega-Starbucks will offer a “fully sensorial coffee environment” including a working bakery and rooftop deck. The company launched its first ‘Roastery Experience’ in Seattle in 2014 and opened a 30,000-square-foot location in Shanghai, China late last year. Additional locations in Milan and New York are expected to open in 2018 followed by Chicago and Tokyo in 2019.

Jay Koziarz