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Apple's 14th Street Manhattan flagship store revealed (photos)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
(ifoAppleStore) Gary Allen, author of ifoAppleStore and frequent AppleInsider contributor, made the pilgrimage on Wednesday to the site of Apple's latest flagship retail store -- soon to be Manhattan's largest -- and filed the following in-depth report, complete with revealing photos from the shop's interior.

"The store is in full view and completely ready for the grand opening. The store occupies three floors, each about 40 feet wide, and the ground floor about 85 feet deep (the second and third floors are about 50 feet deep). Most spectacularly, the front 35-feet of the store spans three-stories, occupied by the most complex and immense glass staircase ever built, spiral or otherwise.

The outside of the store is completely devoid of the usual Apple architectural branding, except for a black metal, cut-out logo hanging from a post, just like the SoHo store. But the huge windows on the ground floor allow a view into the store from both the adjacent sidewalk and from any point in the surrounding neighborhood. There are double-door entrancees on both the 14th St. and 9th Ave. sides of the building, nearest the corner.

Inside, the usual features are present: stone flooring, back-lit wall graphics, white ceiling, and wood display tables. The ground floor is simply computer display space, while software, book and accessory shelving is visible on the second floor. The third floor has ceiling lights in a circular pattern, indicating that a Creative Bar is just beneath it. No doubt the Genius Bar is up there, too.



















The spiral glass staircase uses a very thick and well-reinforced circular core, upon which the outer sidewalls are attached. From there, the treads and landings are attached,. The staircase rises 14 treads to a landing, then another 11 treads to the second floor. It duplicates this pattern to the third floor. An elevator is around an adjacent corner, just out of view.

Interestingly, the location of the elevator is just forward of the second and third levels, so a glass bridge was constructed on those levels to connect the floor to the elevator lobby.

Apple is calling this store the largest in New York City, although if you tally up the retail floor square-footage (7,200 s.f.), it seems like it has less display space than Fifth Avenue or SoHo. The footage is less because the second and third levels don't occupy the entire footprint of the building, just the rear 50 feet or so.

For the record--it's cold! There were flurries while I took these photos, and even with gloves, several layers of clothes and a heavy jacket, I was freezing.
The press event is at 11 a.m. on Thursday, so I'll be back out documenting whatever happens at the store."

Additional photos are available via ifo's photo gallery. Gary will also be continuously updating his 14th Street Grand Opening Report through Friday's 6:00 p.m. opening. The exact address of the store is 401 W 14th Street. Apple has promised complimentary commemorative T-shirts and "other special surprises while they last" to customers attending the grand opening.

Update: Apple in a press release issued Thursday at noon Eastern time said: "The Apple Store West 14th Street is Apples first three-story store with two floors dedicated to products and a third dedicated to services, including a 46-foot Genius Bar and specially designed areas for workshops and personal training. The Apple Store West 14th Street also introduces Pro Labs where customers can receive free, in-depth training on Apples industry-leading pro applications including Final Cut Pro.

The knowledgeable staff at the Apple Store West 14th Street includes more than 175 highly trained Mac Specialists, Mac Geniuses and Creatives who are ready to share their expertise in video editing, digital photography, music production and more. The team of Creatives at West 14th Street will begin leading free multi-session Pro Lab series in January, offering personalized instruction and hands-on experience for customers who want to take their music, video and photography skills to the next level."

Gary Allen is the creator and author of ifo Apple Store, which provides close watch of Apple's retail initiative. When Gary isn't busy publishing news and information on Apple's latest retail stores, he finds himself hanging out at one.
post #2 of 20
Local radio is heavily promoting this opening. There was an ad on K-ROCK that went something like, 'Only Apple could turn a store opening into a social event. Apple's store will be opening on 14th and 9th on Friday, and there will be prizes, music, and fun.' Or something like that. It was a 30-second spot that went on about the prizes and Christmas shopping opportunities and sounded like they were really trying to draw a crowd.
post #3 of 20
Classy, as usual.
post #4 of 20
Looks nice!

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post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The spiral glass staircase uses a very thick and well-reinforced circular core, upon which the outer sidewalls are attached...

Are you sure it's not actually transparent aluminium?

[CENTER][/CENTER]

No really, though, that staircase is a thing of beauty! Reminds me of the G4 Cube.

C'mon though, Apple! Minneapolis/St.Paul deserves at least ONE Flagship store. All we have is four severely cramped mall stores. Really. Nicollet Mall is yours for the taking! It has classic architechture, and up-scale retail and dinning, and is right down the road from the IDS. There is no better location for a Flagship store until you hit Chicago.

(Woohoo! My Semiseptcentennieth post!)

-Clive
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post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

C'mon though, Apple! Minneapolis/St.Paul deserves at least ONE Flagship store. All we have is four severely cramped mall stores. Really. Nicollet Mall is yours for the taking! It has classic architechture, and up-scale retail and dinning, and is right down the road from the IDS. There is no better location for a Flagship store until you hit Chicago.

Definitely agree. Although I've heard some rumors that Apple is looking around Uptown because the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is easily Apple's most profitable group of stores in the Midwest (including Chicago). In fact, I've heard that the 4 stores in the Mpls/StPaul area together perform about 3rd highest in the ranking for closely placed regional stores, behind NY and CA area stores (not to be confused with statistics for entire states).
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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordak View Post

Definitely agree. Although I've heard some rumors that Apple is looking around Uptown because the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is easily Apple's most profitable group of stores in the Midwest (including Chicago). In fact, I've heard that the 4 stores in the Mpls/StPaul area together perform about 3rd highest in the ranking for closely placed regional stores, behind NY and CA area stores (not to be confused with statistics for entire states).

Uptown? Hmm. While it does tend to cater towards Apple's more typical crowd (young hipsters) it seems almost a little too dirty. There are lots of bums and it's more of a weekend party spot than a retail hub, IMO.

I don't know how Uptown and Nicollet Mall compare to the other locations of Flagship stores, but Nicollet definitely seems ritzier, cleaner and safer, if you ask me. Though people comfortable with Minneapolis could probably care less if they were at Nicollet or Uptown.

-Clive
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post #8 of 20
Again, I agree.

All hail flagship!
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post #9 of 20
Does anyone else think that the glass (even frosted!) is going to be some perv's dream for trying to peek up skirts?

The store is beautiful... I'd hate to see them end up replacing the floors in a few weeks.

Maybe they'll put down rugs and claim it wasn't a design flaw, but just to absorb snow and slush from customers' shoes?
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Are you sure it's not actually transparent aluminium?

[CENTER][/CENTER]

No really, though, that staircase is a thing of beauty! Reminds me of the G4 Cube.

C'mon though, Apple! Minneapolis/St.Paul deserves at least ONE Flagship store. All we have is four severely cramped mall stores. Really. Nicollet Mall is yours for the taking! It has classic architechture, and up-scale retail and dinning, and is right down the road from the IDS. There is no better location for a Flagship store until you hit Chicago.

(Woohoo! My Semiseptcentennieth post!)

-Clive

Best TOS movie ever!!
Hard-Core.
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post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungible View Post

Does anyone else think that the glass (even frosted!) is going to be some perv's dream for trying to peek up skirts?

The store is beautiful... I'd hate to see them end up replacing the floors in a few weeks.

Maybe they'll put down rugs and claim it wasn't a design flaw, but just to absorb snow and slush from customers' shoes?

Giggity Giggity
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Are you sure it's not actually transparent aluminium?

[CENTER][/CENTER]

No really, though, that staircase is a thing of beauty! Reminds me of the G4 Cube.

C'mon though, Apple! Minneapolis/St.Paul deserves at least ONE Flagship store. All we have is four severely cramped mall stores. Really. Nicollet Mall is yours for the taking! It has classic architechture, and up-scale retail and dinning, and is right down the road from the IDS. There is no better location for a Flagship store until you hit Chicago.

(Woohoo! My Semiseptcentennieth post!)

-Clive

"A keybaord, how quaint!" Minneapolis is a pretty small market, yet they do have some cash and mall of america is begging for one. Maybe the ride that got stuck there and people got trapped upside down for 6 hours scares the crap out of the no-dairy cupertino boys.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Best TOS movie ever!!

Yeah, now whenever I watch The Voyage Home and laugh. It's past-meets-past. Except in 1986, I bet only the true nerds could get past the whole "paying $4.00 to see a Star Trek movie based in 1986" thing. Yeah, it's pretty decent though. I'd have to vote for Wrath of Kahn, though. Nothing can top that one...

...Wow, I'm a nerd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungible View Post

Does anyone else think that the glass (even frosted!) is going to be some perv's dream for trying to peek up skirts?

Sick. You thought of it first -- YOU'RE the pervert. Someone get a picture of this guy, post it at all the glass-staircase-laiden flagship store entrances and make sure he never gets in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

No really, though, that staircase is a thing of beauty! Reminds me of the G4 Cube.

Sorry to quote myself, but rereading this statement got me thinking... Does Johnny Ive design the artistic portions of the Apple Stores? The big glass cube @ 5th? The beautiful glass staircases? I feel as though more design emphasis is being put on Apple's image than its products. What happened to the "good-old-days" of Apple design, where I actually LIKED the look of their computers? The G4 iMac, the G4 Cube, the orb-ish Airport... all awesome desgns. Now we have bland minimalism. Borrrrrrring.

Bring back glassy and curvy and pristine! Aluminium is so industrial and cold-looking. White is fresh and inviting.

-Clive
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post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunkDifferent.com View Post

"A keybaord, how quaint!" Minneapolis is a pretty small market, yet they do have some cash and mall of america is begging for one. Maybe the ride that got stuck there and people got trapped upside down for 6 hours scares the crap out of the no-dairy cupertino boys.

M.O.A. has one (it's actually just a short walk from the ride that got stuck upside-down ). I think you underestimate the Minneapolis/St. Paul market. Out of the three Apple stores I've been to (M.O.A., Ridgedale & Southdale) Ridgedale & Southdale are downright teeny - barely slivers of an Apple Store - and always packed. M.O.A. has the most floor-space (a single level, maybe about half the footprint of this 14th street flagship) so it's a little less crowded, but during prime shopping hours you still have to wait a good 5-10 minutes just to use a demo unit, the Genius Bar is always queued up, and the checkout lines are long.

There's definitely a lot of business alleviation that an Apple Flagship can do to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

-Clive
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post #15 of 20
Beautiful.

The elevator - if it is as it looks is the same as at the store up at 59th Street and Central Park (in front of GM building) - is really cool and in that cylinder in the middle of the stairs. I found it quite nice.

If you ever get a chance the stairs are also cool at the Soho store as you seem entirely supported by glass as you walk up.

Just wish more firms cared about design.... Can you imagine what a Dell store would look like?
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

M.O.A. has one (it's actually just a short walk from the ride that got stuck upside-down ). I think you underestimate the Minneapolis/St. Paul market. Out of the three Apple stores I've been to (M.O.A., Ridgedale & Southdale) Ridgedale & Southdale are downright teeny - barely slivers of an Apple Store - and always packed. M.O.A. has the most floor-space (a single level, maybe about half the footprint of this 14th street flagship) so it's a little less crowded, but during prime shopping hours you still have to wait a good 5-10 minutes just to use a demo unit, the Genius Bar is always queued up, and the checkout lines are long.

There's definitely a lot of business alleviation that an Apple Flagship can do to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

-Clive

I lived in Minneapolis for 5 years before moving to Chicago two years ago and I used to say the same thing until I moved here. People/tourists in Chicago go to Michigan avenue to shop....People in Minneapolis/St. Paul go to Malls to shop. its the MN way. Most of their shopping is done in malls. Its part of the reason I moved. I aggree with Nicolet Mall needing a Flag ship store however Nicolet Mall needs a lot of things to turn it into even a mini Michigan Ave. Which it could be if the gov. pulls their heads out of their asses. Uptown is a joke and I dont think they will ever get one. too hard to park and no transit. Nicolet is their best bet.
-Adam
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post #17 of 20
Man, can I get those stairs in my house!! Absolutely beautiful ...
post #18 of 20
We have the same glass spiral staircase here in Osaka, Japan.
post #19 of 20
Great and informative article with delicious pictures. great work Gary.

sachin
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by afalkner View Post

I lived in Minneapolis for 5 years before moving to Chicago two years ago and I used to say the same thing until I moved here. People/tourists in Chicago go to Michigan avenue to shop....People in Minneapolis/St. Paul go to Malls to shop. its the MN way. Most of their shopping is done in malls. Its part of the reason I moved. I aggree with Nicolet Mall needing a Flag ship store however Nicolet Mall needs a lot of things to turn it into even a mini Michigan Ave. Which it could be if the gov. pulls their heads out of their asses. Uptown is a joke and I dont think they will ever get one. too hard to park and no transit. Nicolet is their best bet.

How about Grand Ave. in St. Paul? I'm biased because I used to live down their, but the parking is easier, and the stores are almost always bustling on the weekends. Probably not the best during the week in the non-holiday season though I suppose.
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