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Apple abandons plans for third Manhattan store

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer has reportedly surrendered plans for a two-story retail store in Manhattan's Flatiron District and instead will focus on completing the development of a much larger location in Midtown.

Apple had signed a lease for a 2,500-square-foot space at 136 Fifth Avenue, between 18th and 19th Streets, but has since put the lease up for disposition, reports the NY Post.

The report says Apple has decided to instead focus on a 20,000-square-foot store under construction in the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue, between 57th and 58th streets.

In a recent conference call, Apple for the first time acknowledged that it was building a massive flagship location in the underground concourse of the GM building and that it hoped to open the store in time for the holiday shopping season.

Although the NY Post did not go into details, previous reports indicate that Apple was met with opposition from a local community board over its retail design proposal aimed at transforming the historic 136 Fifth Avenue building into a glass enclosed two-story Apple retail store.

Since the building sits inside the Ladiesâ Mile Historic District, the board was not too thrilled with Apple's proposal, which went through several revisions.

Apple reportedly faces similar obstacles with a 9,000-square-foot location in Portland, Oregon's Historic Alphabet District . There, Apple hopes to demolish an existing building and replace it with two-story retail store also with a glass facade.

The company will first have to gain the approval of the local historic landmarks commission. Hearings were scheduled for this month.
post #2 of 5
My company was in that district (in NYC) for 28 years. I can tell you that most of it is anything but historical. While some large companies have refurbished buildings that they have bought, many smaller ones have store faces that are either brown aluminum, or stainless steel. Even a number of the refurbished buildings have large single pane glass windows that are nothing like the windows that were there before, when the buildings were first put up.

Even the famous Flatiron building has a first floor that is all retail space that didn't exist when the building was built. Those stores, mostly Sprint on one end, and cosmetic companies on the other, have store fronts that are totally out of character with the rest of the building, again being clunky modern metal, actually sticking out from the profile of the building, instead of the stone, which was removed years ago.

The Apple store would have added some class to the neighborhood, which is not the ideal historical area it's being painted to be.

Not even close!
post #3 of 5
Must be a big relief for Tekserve, a company that kept Apple's profile out there in the public eye during the lean years. Given the kind of corporate hardball Apple plays, I was wondering how Apple planned to deal with them. While all of the other NYC independent Apple retailers have fallen by the wayside I doubt Apple wouild have countenanced a serious competitor with a loyal customer base only six blocks away. I'm kind of happy here, as I prefer having the choice.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by Ptrash
Must be a big relief for Tekserve, a company that kept Apple's profile out there in the public eye during the lean years. Given the kind of corporate hardball Apple plays, I was wondering how Apple planned to deal with them. While all of the other NYC independent Apple retailers have fallen by the wayside I doubt Apple wouild have countenanced a serious competitor with a loyal customer base only six blocks away. I'm kind of happy here, as I prefer having the choice.

Yup. Privately, David was concerned and surprised, to say the least, when they announced it.

There are a fair number of large Mac dealers in NYC.
post #5 of 5
Just a nit, but the GM Building isn't between 57th and 58th street, but between 58th and 59th streets. I was pretty amused when I saw the Post move it a whole block south, since they really should know better.

FWIW, the scaffolding is up to frame the 32' glass cube that's going to be the entrance to the store. Looks as though there's a decent chance they'll be done by Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter.
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