Green Depot Chicago – closed!

The only true green building material supplier in Chicago shut its doors abruptly overnight on May 18th this year.

The store started in 2005 as Chicago Greenmaker Supply. Its founders Ori Sivan and Joe Silver set out to fill the market gap that emerged around green and sustainable building materials. Chicago Greenmaker Supply merged with the Booklyn, N.Y. based Green Depot in 2009.

It looks like the corporate office in Brooklyn pulled the plug overnight. I had a sense that the store had been somewhat struggling, but no idea it was that bad. The Facebook page for the Chicago store had a little note informing about the closure, and now has disappeared altogether.

Some research online indicates that the Chicago store wasn’t the only one that went abruptly out of business. Notes on Yelp show that the San Francisco and Greenport, N.Y. share the same fate.

This really matters, for a number of reasons. I told the story about our dual flush, low flow toilet, which we bought at the Chicago Green Depot. I would have loved to go back to the local store for replacement parts.

They were an excellent resource for VOC free paint at a reasonable price.  The Chicago store supplied all our primer and paint for the garden apartment. We also purchased all our rock wool insulation for the basement and first floor there.

I guess I need to start looking for new sources… And I may not be the only one. The green building material gap in Chicago has opened up again!

What about some of the large home improvement stores that have begun to carry green building materials? They don’t compare in the slightest. First, you have to live in the right neighborhood for those stores to actually carry green products. Then you have to search through all the other clutter to find the green building materials. Can you really trust the “green” designation, or is it just part of the abundant greenwash? Maybe you have a product question and need to find and asked a sales rep … yeah, good luck!

In comparison, at the Chicago Green Depot, you could step inside and had at your fingertips nothing but solid green and sustainable building products, plus good service and valuable expertise.

The question is, who is filling that gap in the Chicago market? If you hear something, please let me know – because I still have a bunch of primer, paint, rock wool and other green building products to buy. I’m sure I’m not the only one!

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

4 thoughts on “Green Depot Chicago – closed!

  1. perhaps the question should be….. where did those guys go that worked at Green Depot go? and follow them to that store ……

  2. That sucks. I used Green Depot for all of my recent VOC-free primer and paint purchases.

  3. “Merged”? That must be a euphemism for SOLD OUT TO!
    I doubt that Ori and Joe are suffering financially as I imagine the hourly employees are.
    Don’t get me wrong I like Ori and met him within weeks of him opening Greenmaker. So really what was gained by “merging” with the bigger beast?

  4. I was very disappointed to find that they had closed but I find Green Home Experts in Oak Park, Illinois to be a great source for my renovation needs.
    811 South Boulevard Oak Park, IL 60302
    (708) 660-1443

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