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Georgetown Apple Store in DC moves closer to reality (rendering)

post #1 of 25
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After five sets of plans for a proposed Apple retail store in Washington D.C. were shot down, the Old Georgetown Board has finally given Apple its stamp of approval on a design that it feels will best fit into the surrounding neighborhood.

The store would be located at 1229 Wisconsin Ave in Washington D.C.'s historic Georgetown district, just a few blocks north of the Potomac River and two miles west of the White House.

The Old Georgetown Board had previously ruled against four aesthetic designs brought before it by Apple representatives, arguing that they didn't conform with the "federal-style structures" in the area. However, the Washington Post is reporting that the fifth and most recent proposal seems to have mitigated those concerns.

The new design sports an attractive, glass storefront that more appropriately blends in with the surrounding shopping area, which includes some of the usual chains like Nine West, Bebe, United Colors of Benetton, Abercrombie & Fitch, and American Eagle.

This image, courtesy of Google, shows how the brick building with white trim and ground-floor windows most recently appeared. Seen from across the street, the location sits at a T-intersection where Prospect Street meets Wisconsin Ave.



The Georgetown Metropolitan adds to the story by providing a look at the new design. An artist's rendition suggests the existing structure would be shortened and a pair of columns removed, leading to a more airy appearance, complete with an nearly all-glass first-floor facade.

"The project has gotten a lot better," a board member told Apple architect Karl Backus. "I applaud your efforts."



Apple still has another hurdle to clear before the permits and construction phase can begin: the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts must sign off on the proposal, which is expected to happen since a refusal to do so would overrule the same Old Georgetown Board it happens to oversee.

According to the Post, an Apple representative said no timetable has been established for beginning construction, let alone the grand opening. The newspaper adds that opposition to the project from residents and preservationists has been met with residents, business owners and local political leaders eyeing the lucrative windfall the store is expected to bring to the area.

The Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission also approved the design earlier this week, reports ifoAppleStore.

The latest design was submitted last month.
post #2 of 25
Go Apple! Great location- if anyone can afford Macs or anything these days it's politicians and rich students!
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Go Apple! Great location- if anyone can afford Macs or anything these days it's politicians!

Don't forget the wealthy (parents of) Georgetown students (and GW students, too)!

But, yeah, DC is one of the most recession-proof places around (though in this mega-recession, you can feel the pinch somewhat). That said, I'll probably still go to the Pentagon City store, because it's on the Metro and I used to work there. Still, this is very encouraging.
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post #4 of 25
I don't get it that building looks like it was built or at least renovated in the 1980's. The scale of the arched second level window is something found in most Mc Mansions, the Apple redesign makes the building look like it has been there for 100 years and not 25.
post #5 of 25
I still don't understand why Apple doesn't just keep that original facade like most renovators in this situation do. It's way better looking and has a much more prominent spot for the Apple logo.

It's usually cheaper to blow up the building, save the facade and insert modern building behind and it's almost standard procedure for these kinds of things where I live.
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post #6 of 25
Isn't Apple laying off employees? I'm shocked that even as well as Apple seems to be doing in this economy they are still thinking about opening another store.

Good for them, but another store doesn't seem like a necessity.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Isn't Apple laying off employees? I'm shocked that even as well as Apple seems to be doing in this economy they are still thinking about opening another store.

Good for them, but another store doesn't seem like a necessity.

Apple doesn't build a store until they are 99.9999% certain it will be profitable. This store will employ several people and make Apple money. Even if Apple were laying people off (and I've heard nothing to suggest they were), this store would still be a good idea.

Apple Retail is the fastest growing retail chain in history for a reason. Ron Johnson knows what he's doing, believe me.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

I don't get it that building looks like it was built or at least renovated in the 1980's. The scale of the arched second level window is something found in most Mc Mansions, the Apple redesign makes the building look like it has been there for 100 years and not 25.

I think you have the two switched, at least in my opinion, the new one looks way too austere to be a design that's 100+ years old. The rendering looks pretty bland to me, and it doesn't really hit what I would think of as "federal style".
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Isn't Apple laying off employees?


They are? I'm certainly not aware of this. I haven't seen any news about headcount reductions.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think you have the two switched, at least in my opinion, the new one looks way too austere to be a design that's 100+ years old. The rendering looks pretty bland to me, and it doesn't really hit what I would think of as "federal style".

My building here in New York City was built circa 1840 and around 1900 the facade was "updated" with federal style architectural details similar to the Apple redesign. A modest building of 1890-1900 would not have columns arched windows and other Beaux-arts adornment. The existing building is ugly, awkward and shopping mall-esque with its random use of post-modern cliché's.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

the Apple redesign makes the building look like it has been there for 100 years and not 25.

I think that's the point...

What's interesting is that it appears that Apple wants to lop off the top floor of the building, which is a pretty major redesign. Also, why is the Georgetown board so concerned with "federal style" when its evident the current facade is anything but, as are the two adjacent buildings. Hmmm
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Isn't Apple laying off employees?

Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

I'm shocked that even as well as Apple seems to be doing in this economy they are still thinking about opening another store.

The stores sell a heck of a lot of product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Good for them, but another store doesn't seem like a necessity.

Not if you want to make money.
post #13 of 25
What a coincidence - downturn hits even Georgetown, suddenly the historical geeks get a little more flexible about what they'll put up with from their tenants. Weird!
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Isn't Apple laying off employees? I'm shocked that even as well as Apple seems to be doing in this economy they are still thinking about opening another store.

Good for them, but another store doesn't seem like a necessity.

They are apparently laying off employees, but I believe they are enterprise sales people. They don't work in Apple Retail Stores. Apple has stated many times before they don't intend to lay anyone off as they worked very hard to get the talent they have and it would be foolish to just let them go. Its not like Apple is strapped for cash or anything ($29 Billion in the bank w/$0 in debt!!!).

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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Isn't Apple laying off employees? I'm shocked that even as well as Apple seems to be doing in this economy they are still thinking about opening another store.

Good for them, but another store doesn't seem like a necessity.

So far, Apple has yet to close a store, and there hasn't been news of layoffs that I recall.

Maybe the stores are too new, but last I read, they are at the top of their industry in terms of profitability. Even if this year and next year will be a bit slow, if you can afford to invest in construction or renovation, now is the time to do it for lowest costs, and it will be ready for the rebound. Apple seems to be very deliberate with their site selection.

Not only that, this store was in the works for some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

My building here in New York City was built circa 1840 and around 1900 the facade was "updated" with federal style architectural details similar to the Apple redesign. A modest building of 1890-1900 would not have columns arched windows and other Beaux-arts adornment. The existing building is ugly, awkward and shopping mall-esque with its random use of post-modern cliché's.

Doesn't this new design also use columns? The rendering is pretty crude, but it looks like there are four of them.

I'm not a student of architecture, but the design looks like a B with a capital bland to me. I suppose that's up for interpretation, but at least, I'd think that a clearer rendering should have been made, that, I can say with reasonable certainty, looks worse than rendering from early '90s software.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Apple doesn't build a store until they are 99.9999% certain it will be profitable. This store will employ several people and make Apple money. Even if Apple were laying people off (and I've heard nothing to suggest they were), this store would still be a good idea.

Apple Retail is the fastest growing retail chain in history for a reason. Ron Johnson knows what he's doing, believe me.

Traffic in Georgetown is heavy at the best of times and parking is scarce even
for downtown Washington. Contrast this to the Apple stores in suburban Washington
malls, where there is plenty of parking (less so in the downtown Bethesda store)
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdcat View Post

Traffic in Georgetown is heavy at the best of times and parking is scarce even
for downtown Washington. Contrast this to the Apple stores in suburban Washington
malls, where there is plenty of parking (less so in the downtown Bethesda store)

Who cares? You do realize that Georgetown is the most expensive retail area in the region for a reason, and it isn't because all those other stores have trouble getting people to their door. You think every other store does well and Apple will do badly because they can't find a parking space?
post #18 of 25
It looks like a small store. I don't see any stairs inside. Either you can see the sky through the upper windows or the glass reflect the sky.
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post #19 of 25
Great! But had they bought the Benetton store it would've been better, being on M Street is key in Georgetown.
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post #20 of 25
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Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Great! But had they bought the Benetton store it would've been better, being on M Street is key in Georgetown.

While that's true to an extent, I don't imagine the leases on the corner of Wisconsin and M come cheap or are available often. Plus, while yes, M St is key, being on Wisconsin is also a very good location and is visible from that intersection, and we all know that Apple will draw people from M like a magnet. I bet the businesses around there are thanking their lucky stars that they are going to gain such foot traffic.
post #21 of 25
The second story sky "windows" will be beautiful. An interesting architectural comment from Apple.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

They are apparently laying off employees, but I believe they are enterprise sales people. They don't work in Apple Retail Stores. Apple has stated many times before they don't intend to lay anyone off as they worked very hard to get the talent they have and it would be foolish to just let them go. Its not like Apple is strapped for cash or anything ($29 Billion in the bank w/$0 in debt!!!).

Apple denied laying off any employees.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

They are apparently laying off employees, but I believe they are enterprise sales people. They don't work in Apple Retail Stores. Apple has stated many times before they don't intend to lay anyone off as they worked very hard to get the talent they have and it would be foolish to just let them go. Its not like Apple is strapped for cash or anything ($29 Billion in the bank w/$0 in debt!!!).

Check your source. If it's Valleywag or your source references them, you can safely ignore it until there is some completely independent confirmation. The top three hits in Google all reference Valleywag. Hit #4 is a WSJ article about Apple denying the claims. Hit #5 is an NYT article from 1990.

As it is, it's not really a valid story because Valleywag is a high-tech tabloid and nothing more. Often, they are right in the same way a broken analog clock is right twice a day.
post #24 of 25
I think some Architecture should be left the way it is, but as far as building new structures, we should make our own history regardless of it's proximity to older structures. Just look at the church next to the brilliant Selfridges building at the Bull Ring In Birmingham.
post #25 of 25
Go Apple!

I hope the lease is in your favor!

Note there's another store close-by in Clarendon.
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