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Apple to build second Chicago flagship retail store

post #1 of 44
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Following 18 months of indecision, Apple has finalized plans to build another high-profile retail store in Chicago, agreeing on the site of an old gas station in the city's Clybourn Corridor shopping district.

The move may be seen as a blow to the ongoing revival of State Street, where the electronics maker had also been scouting a location on in the distinguished Block 37 development, according to Chicago Business.

Recently, however, Apple agreed to a $700,000 per year lease on a corner lot bound by North and Clybourn avenues and Halsted Street that once housed a gas station.

The lease is reportedly only for the lot of land, where the Cupertino-based company now hopes to build a 15,000-square-foot store to be designed by local architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.

That same firm has been responsible for a number of other flagship Apple store designs, namely the glass cube retail store in Midtown Manhattan and Chicago's original high-profile Apple Store on N. Michigan Ave, which will remain Chicago's largest by about 10,000 square feet.

The Clybourn Corridor is a sub-neighborhood of Chicago's Lincoln Park known for its dining and shopping destinations, many of which are distinguished by modern and flashy architecture. Other retailers in the corridor include Best Buy, Gap, Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn, Express, Ethan Allen, Crate & Barrel, and Whole Foods.

Apple has leased this lot, which currently contains the remains of an old gas station.

The Borders book store across the street is looking to sublet its retail space.

Still, the location Apple's selected doesn't guarantee instant success, according to the Chicago Business, which notes that furniture retailer Z Gallerie was recently forced to shut down its store in the district. Locally based Borders is also reportedly looking to sublet its space in the corridor, which sits adjacent to lot leased by Apple.
post #2 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Following 18 months of indecision, Apple has finalized plans to build another high-profile retail store in Chicago, agreeing on the site of an old gas station in the city's Clybourn Corridor shopping district.

The move may be seen as a blow to the ongoing revival of State Street, where the electronics maker had also been scouting a location on in the distinguished Block 37 development, according to Chicago Business.

Recently, however, Apple agreed to a $700,000 per year lease on a corner lot bound by North and Clybourn avenues and Halsted Street that once housed a gas station.

The lease is reportedly only for the lot of land, where the Cupertino-based company now hopes to build a 15,000-square-foot store to be designed by local architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.

That same firm has been responsible for a number of other flagship Apple store designs, namely the glass cube retail store in Midtown Manhattan and Chicago's original high-profile Apple Store on N. Michigan Ave, which will remain Chicago's largest by about 10,000 square feet.

The Clybourn Corridor is a sub-neighborhood of Chicago's Lincoln Park known for its dining and shopping destinations, many of which are distinguished by modern and flashy architecture. Other retailers in the corridor include Best Buy, Gap, Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn, Express, Ethan Allen, Crate & Barrel, and Whole Foods.

Apple has leased this lot, which currently contains the remains of an old gas station.

The Borders book store across the street is looking to sublet its retail space.

Still, the location Apple's selected doesn't guarantee instant success, according to the Chicago Business, which notes that furniture retailer Z Gallerie was recently forced to shut down its store in the district. Locally based Borders is also reportedly looking to sublet its space in the corridor, which sits adjacent to lot leased by Apple.

As a Chicagoan I like the location, especially since the lot is next to the Red Line's North and Clybourn rapid transit station.
post #3 of 44
NYC has 2 stores in the city limits and a few more within 30 minutes driving distance outside the city
post #4 of 44
An old gas station site? Yikes. In addition to lease, contracting, and construction costs: EPA mandated cleanup procedures to prevent ground contamination when removing gas station fuel tanks = $$$$$
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

An old gas station site? Yikes. In addition to lease, contracting, and construction costs: EPA mandated cleanup procedures to prevent ground contamination when removing gas station fuel tanks = $$$$$

Apple has plenty of money!

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post #6 of 44
Go Bears!
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DimMok View Post

Go Bears!

Nuff said.
post #8 of 44
Interesting. I'm not familiar with this location. At $700,000 a year, is this a spot that actually makes money, or will this be another showroom location like 5th Ave?

Don't get me wrong, the "showroom" store has tremendous value, but even big companies can only afford to operate a few of those, where sales barely keep pace with rent. These places are all about advertising.
post #9 of 44
Public transportation + close to the highway + a parking garage across the street (behind borders).
This is a brilliant location.
post #10 of 44
Umm ... can you have two flagships? Isn't that like pluralizing the Lone Ranger?
post #11 of 44
A future Microsoft ad will be about how Apple converted the underground tanks to pump the store full of happy gas.
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Interesting. I'm not familiar with this location. At $700,000 a year, is this a spot that actually makes money, or will this be another showroom location like 5th Ave?

Don't get me wrong, the "showroom" store has tremendous value, but even big companies can only afford to operate a few of those, where sales barely keep pace with rent. These places are all about advertising.

Don't worry, each apple store makes 8 times that amount in a year.
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post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

NYC has 2 stores in the city limits and a few more within 30 minutes driving distance outside the city

NYC has 3 stores: 5th Ave (flagship), SoHo (original), and West 14th (most recent), all in Manhattan.
post #14 of 44
Excellent location, this is a great neighborhood.

In addition to the stores mentioned an many others nearby, this is also walking distance from the nationally famous Steppenwolf theatre as well as a couple other theatres.
post #15 of 44
Z Gallerie actually closed down 25 of their 77 stores, Lincoln Park just being one of them...
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post

Public transportation + close to the highway + a parking garage across the street (behind borders).
This is a brilliant location.

Combined with some of the worst traffic congestion in the city. Right up there with the Fullerton/Damen/Elston intersection. Along with the huge "scars" in the landscape left behind by the abandonment of the Expo design center and the New City YMCA. Although I'm believe the later is currently being developed. The area does have a lot of high profiles stores, but the congestion is only going to get worse. Maybe Apple can get the city to fix up the Red Line stop that's there, too, as part of the deal.

I actually think the State St location would better suited for Apple. Much more foot traffic, and easy access by all of the Loop workers to stop by during lunch and after work. The Lincoln Park location will be nearly vacant during the business day, and a pain in the arse to get to on the weekends.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Combined with some of the worst traffic congestion in the city.

But that's the brilliance of choosing this location.
No one's actually going anywhere so they can hop out of their car and pop into the Apple store.
Better yet, Apple employees can pop out and walk the lanes with their iPhone, ringing up orders and someone brings it out as soon as it's rung up.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

An old gas station site? Yikes. In addition to lease, contracting, and construction costs: EPA mandated cleanup procedures to prevent ground contamination when removing gas station fuel tanks = $$$$$

I would think that would be the landowner's responsibility, or was at least factored into the deal in some way. (I just bought a house with an old fuel oil tank in the back yard, so I'm dealing with that in a small way myself.)
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Interesting. I'm not familiar with this location. At $700,000 a year, is this a spot that actually makes money, or will this be another showroom location like 5th Ave?

Don't get me wrong, the "showroom" store has tremendous value, but even big companies can only afford to operate a few of those, where sales barely keep pace with rent. These places are all about advertising.

When Apple first decided to open up retail stores the entire industry laughed. Dell have kiosks and Gateway having stores, and how none of that was working. But they didn't do what Dell and Gateway et al. try to do. They didn't open them up in evry cheap nook and cranny trying to get people to come to them. They did what Apple does with their machines, they started with the most trafficked wealthy areas and expanded from there. They built slowly and pointedly and in an amazingyl short time became the highest gross retail change per square feet. Beating out expensive stores like Louis Vittan and Tiffanies.

I think they have fallen a bit as they have expanded and may be at the number 2 slot, but don't think that there stores are break even or loss leader advertising campaigns. However, it is my belief that it is the Apple Stores set which allows you to play with and test Macs, not the iPod "halo effect", that is the main reason why there has been a steady move to Macs in recent years.
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post #20 of 44
What I don't understand is why they are leasing the land. 700,000 a year is a lot of money why not buy a lot? What is the advantage to leasing over purchasing?
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post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

What I don't understand is why they are leasing the land. 700,000 a year is a lot of money why not buy a lot? What is the advantage to leasing over purchasing?

They deduct the rent and deprecate the structure on their taxes. Land can't be depreciated. Lots of advantage if your the landlord, like a free building that's also tax free. A nice one too. In the "old" days many companies. such as sears, gap and wards made substantial money with real estate holdings.
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post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

An old gas station site? Yikes. In addition to lease, contracting, and construction costs: EPA mandated cleanup procedures to prevent ground contamination when removing gas station fuel tanks = $$$$$

That's a problem for the landlord. Once the gas station was closed the tanks should have been removed and the site cleaned up, as per EPA.
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

What I don't understand is why they are leasing the land. 700,000 a year is a lot of money why not buy a lot? What is the advantage to leasing over purchasing?

If they bought it they would own it. For the average person buying a good thing, but for retail it's not always that great of an idea, especially for a computer company. They have to think about if their product will be marketable in stores in 5,10, 20 years. Then there is the way neighborhoods change. The ritzy areas of one generation can be the ghetto of another. Obviously, this area is being built up from a poor one. It also looks like it may have been nice at one time*.

The area itself looks to be well worth it. It's in the center of three streets and is at the nexus of two major subway stops. I think that $700k is pretty damn good, all things considered.

Here is the property appraiser's site. The lot in question, or one next to it, looks to be 741 W North Chicago Ave.
http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/

* I hope Google is caching all these sat. and Street View images so that in a couple decades we can see a time shift of how areas have changed.
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post #24 of 44
They're not going to open it behind Comiskey Park (U.S. Cellular Field) lot D? I've been waiting to hear about the new Chicago Bridgeport Store.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post

Public transportation + close to the highway + a parking garage across the street (behind borders).
This is a brilliant location.

You forgot to mention NOT ON MICHIGAN AVE.

This is definitely a brilliant location.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

What I don't understand is why they are leasing the land. 700,000 a year is a lot of money why not buy a lot? What is the advantage to leasing over purchasing?


no property tax liability,
you can negotiate a long term lease for a predictable expense,
less assets on your balance sheet to improve your Return on Assets ratio for investors,
if you want to close and move you just break the lease and pay up,
no worries about paying out a lot of money to the government for environmental cleanup costs
no mortgage

long list of other reasons
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

However, it is my belief that it is the Apple Stores set which allows you to play with and test Macs, not the iPod "halo effect", that is the main reason why there has been a steady move to Macs in recent years.

I dont know about that. I think the stores have been fantastic for Apple, there is no way around that...but I don't discount the iPod Halo.

As a teacher in a relatively well heeled middle school, I saw the student reaction to the Powerbook I have been using for long on 6 years now go from:

"You have a Mac? Ha ha, why don't you get a real computer?" 6 years ago
to
"Cool! You have an iPod?" (Upon seeing the white square power converter) 3-4 years ago
to
"You have a cool laptop!" 2 years ago
to
"I want a MacBook sooo, bad." or "I'm getting a MacBook Pro for (insert event here)" these days.

The closest mall has no Apple Store, yet there has been a seachange in my students' perceptions of the laptop--ironically moving in inverse proportion to the actual value of the computer. As a hot new G3 Ti Book 6 years ago, it was a piece of crap; as a woefully outdated and heavy machine now, I am the envy of all who do not have a Mac.
Anytime i doubt the Halo effect, I think of those many students (it was literally 6-10 different students) who saw that trademark powerconverter shape and color and assumed iPod despite the fact it was much larger and attached to my laptop on a cart in front of them...
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post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthenob View Post

Umm ... can you have two flagships? Isn't that like pluralizing the Lone Ranger?

In naval terms, I think per given fleet, you have one flagship from which the fleet's admiral commands said fleet. There are generally multiple fleets, but I don't think they intermingled like retail stores might. If you held strict to that, then maybe you can only have one flagship store per city or state.

Here, I think it just means it's an upper tier store, is larger and isn't cookie-cutter style, unlike many of Apple's regular retail stores.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The area itself looks to be well worth it. It's in the center of three streets and is at the nexus of two major subway stops. I think that $700k is pretty damn good, all things considered.

Here is the property appraiser's site. The lot in question, or one next to it, looks to be 741 W North Chicago Ave.
http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/

"nexus of two major subway stops" is a bit of a stretch. It's right on top of a crappy (some would stay scary) Red Line subway stop and about a 1/3 mile from a low-traffic Brown/Purple elevated train stop on Sedgwick. (The Red Line also stops a few blocks from Apple's Michigan Ave store and within a block of the proposed State St store.)

The address above is a block off. If you want to see the lot and the abandonded gas station, enter "801 W North Ave, Chicago, IL" in maps.google.com, then click on Street View. You'll be looking right at it.

Most people don't go to this area unless they are heading to a specific store(s). I really don't think they'll get much "I was in the area and decided to drop in" foot traffic like they get on Michigan Ave (or would get on State St.).

But it doesn't matter to me. I can get to either location just as easy as the other.
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

"nexus of two major subway stops" is a bit of a stretch.

Don't the capital M's stand for major subway stop?

I thought they were major junction points. I looked it up afterwards and it seems to not be that way. A bit hyperbolic, but I am not going to change it.

If the stations are scary and Apple is moving in, there may be a possibility that this area will get cleaned up, including the stations.
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post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Don't the capital M's stand for major subway stop?

I thought they were major junction points. I looked it up afterwards and it seems to not be that way. A bit hyperbolic, but I am not going to change it.

If the stations are scary and Apple is moving in, there may be a possibility that this area will get cleaned up, including the stations.

You just wanted to use the word "nexus".
post #32 of 44
I love how all these cities have or are getting multiple Apple stores, and Vancouver B.C. --- which is one of the largest cities in western North America -- still has yet to get an Apple store. I was there about a year ago, and I was SHOCKED that there wasn't one..
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Combined with some of the worst traffic congestion in the city. Right up there with the Fullerton/Damen/Elston intersection. Along with the huge "scars" in the landscape left behind by the abandonment of the Expo design center and the New City YMCA. Although I'm believe the later is currently being developed. The area does have a lot of high profiles stores, but the congestion is only going to get worse. Maybe Apple can get the city to fix up the Red Line stop that's there, too, as part of the deal.

I actually think the State St location would better suited for Apple. Much more foot traffic, and easy access by all of the Loop workers to stop by during lunch and after work. The Lincoln Park location will be nearly vacant during the business day, and a pain in the arse to get to on the weekends.

Completely agree. The only time I pass through this area is if I'm going to a specific store, like Crate and Barrel or Sam's Wine and Liquor, or the Steppenwolf Theater. It actually gives me a feeling of dread having to pass through that area. It's rather faceless, terrible traffic, little foot traffic, at least along north avenue. Heading north on Halsted, the traffic can back up all the way to Division. At night the area is actually kind of shady with the nearby conglomerate of iffy clubs on Weed Street and the remains of the Cabrini Green projects not far away.

State Street is an opportunity missed. Apple sells well to the college age crowd, and the State St location is just blocks away from DePaul's downtown campus, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, the Art Institute school, and East-West University, not to mention John Marshall Law School. The foot traffic is heavy along State, and you have stops for all of the elevated and subway lines nearby as well. The whole loop is seeing an increase in residential developments, so more people are actually living there. All of the big summer festivals are in Grant Park, and most people take the 'L' to the loop and walk there, often passing block 37. I think it would have been great, and the Block 37 development could use the help.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefrocatracho View Post

Completely agree. The only time I pass through this area is if I'm going to a specific store, like Crate and Barrel or Sam's Wine and Liquor, or the Steppenwolf Theater. It actually gives me a feeling of dread having to pass through that area. It's rather faceless, terrible traffic, little foot traffic, at least along north avenue. Heading north on Halsted, the traffic can back up all the way to Division. At night the area is actually kind of shady with the nearby conglomerate of iffy clubs on Weed Street and the remains of the Cabrini Green projects not far away.

State Street is an opportunity missed. Apple sells well to the college age crowd, and the State St location is just blocks away from DePaul's downtown campus, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, the Art Institute school, and East-West University, not to mention John Marshall Law School. The foot traffic is heavy along State, and you have stops for all of the elevated and subway lines nearby as well. The whole loop is seeing an increase in residential developments, so more people are actually living there. All of the big summer festivals are in Grant Park, and most people take the 'L' to the loop and walk there, often passing block 37. I think it would have been great, and the Block 37 development could use the help.

The only thing I can think of is if Apple was looking for a location for a stand-alone store instead of being just one store a whole building of stores like they'd have had with the Block 37 location. I just don't see them getting the traffic they'd need to support a store of that size in the proposed location.
post #35 of 44
If you live around there by Lincoln Park, Wicker Park or Bucktown, you would know that that the location is awesome! People in Gold Coast where the first flagship store is near would not necessarily cab up to Halsted & North Ave., but the people from Wrigleyville and other neighborhoods on the northside could easily hop on the red line to get there. As someone mentioned earlier, this location is near Steppenwolf, a theatre, so I can see people checking out the Apple store after dinner and theatre if the Apple store closes late. Wicker Park is also a tourist destination just like Haight Asbury is in San Francisco. Celebrities such as Amy Poehler have been seen in Wicker Park's Potbelly. As for the land cost, know that many of the 3 BR, 2 BA single-family homes in this area sell for upwards of over $899K depending how close the properties are to public transportation (even in this recession). Borders is not doing well because people have gone electronic for reading materials such as Kindle and a version of it on the iPhone. But, Apple will have to hire an off-duty police officer as a security guard just like Home Depot (which is further down the street on North) and The Container Store because where there is money, there are crimes like shoplifting and using counterfeit money.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefrocatracho View Post

Completely agree. The only time I pass through this area is if I'm going to a specific store, like Crate and Barrel or Sam's Wine and Liquor, or the Steppenwolf Theater. It actually gives me a feeling of dread having to pass through that area. It's rather faceless, terrible traffic, little foot traffic, at least along north avenue. Heading north on Halsted, the traffic can back up all the way to Division. At night the area is actually kind of shady with the nearby conglomerate of iffy clubs on Weed Street and the remains of the Cabrini Green projects not far away.

State Street is an opportunity missed. Apple sells well to the college age crowd, and the State St location is just blocks away from DePaul's downtown campus, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, the Art Institute school, and East-West University, not to mention John Marshall Law School. The foot traffic is heavy along State, and you have stops for all of the elevated and subway lines nearby as well. The whole loop is seeing an increase in residential developments, so more people are actually living there. All of the big summer festivals are in Grant Park, and most people take the 'L' to the loop and walk there, often passing block 37. I think it would have been great, and the Block 37 development could use the help.

State Street is too close to the flagship store. The location on Michigan Avenue is still close enough to the the people in the loop & south loop. The residential area in the loop and south loop are also going through major real estate bankruptcy in this recession. And, as someone mentioned, Apple probably wanted their own stand alone store to have control of the architecture that reflects the company. With Block 37, Apple would not be able to do that---the building is already built and probably looks like any and every other multi-use building downtown. Finally, many of the students who attend school downtown, probably live on the northside, so they can go to the Apple store on the weekend. All the other people who don't want to go to the store can buy online.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Combined with some of the worst traffic congestion in the city. Right up there with the Fullerton/Damen/Elston intersection.

The North Avenue bridge over the Chicago River was nicely rebuilt so at least now North Ave is 2 lanes in each direction for the less than 1 mile to the Kennedy.

Quote:
Along with the huge "scars" in the landscape left behind by the abandonment of the Expo design center and the New City YMCA. Although I'm believe the later is currently being developed. The area does have a lot of high profiles stores, but the congestion is only going to get worse.

That Expo is being redeveloped, although into an "auto mall" so with the current state of the car industry, who knows how much longer until it's back to being a scar. About the New City YMCA development, all that stuff was demolished, yet per the economic conditions, nothing has been constructed there.

Quote:
Maybe Apple can get the city to fix up the Red Line stop that's there, too, as part of the deal.

That stop will be impossible to fix up, I mean look at the Grand stop. It's a standard side-platformed stop which is taking several years to renovate and make ADA complient. This stop is a completely unique design which would complicate the engineering plans tenfold. With the CDOT already undergoing one major project, there's no way that one retailer will cause them to spend millions to re do a station.

Quote:
I actually think the State St location would better suited for Apple. Much more foot traffic, and easy access by all of the Loop workers to stop by during lunch and after work. The Lincoln Park location will be nearly vacant during the business day, and a pain in the arse to get to on the weekends.

State Street would've been a better location, but who's to say it won't come at a later date? As has been mentioned, New York has three stores, so why not Chicago? New York's stores are 1.15 and 2.3 miles apart, and State Street, Michigan Avenue, and this Lincoln Park location would be .8 and 1.68 miles apart. Maybe once 108 gets completed, IF 108 gets completed, it Apple co,d move in as well, you can never have enough Apple Stores.

-Brian
post #38 of 44
Anyone who has ever been to the Michigan Ave Store knows that it is always crowded. As the only Apple store in Chicago it attracts people from all over into ONE store. That store is so saturated with people that Apple could easily open another store without any major hit to the profitability to the current Michigan Ave store. State street would be a good location, but it is too close to the Michigan Ave store. The Clybourn store would be a much better location. The neighborhoods close to that area are very affluent or growing into affluence (Lincoln Park, Old Town, Wicker Park, Bucktown, et). Also, that is a much more residential area than Michigan Ave. It takes me almost 30 minutes to get to the current Apple store depending on how long I have to wait for the EL. A store there would make that trip less than 10 minutes. It's a much more convenient location for people living on the north side of Chicago, and the Michigan Ave store will be there for tourists and people living in adjacent suburbs since the next closest store is in Oakbrook or Woodfield Mall.

Finally, I'd love to see Apple build their own store and make it as creative and iconic as the 5th Ave Store in NY or another stand alone store. I think doing that alone would draw people to that store.
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLi009 View Post

If you live around there by Lincoln Park, Wicker Park or Bucktown, you would know that that the location is awesome! People in Gold Coast where the first flagship store is near would not necessarily cab up to Halsted & North Ave., but the people from Wrigleyville and other neighborhoods on the northside could easily hop on the red line to get there. As someone mentioned earlier, this location is near Steppenwolf, a theatre, so I can see people checking out the Apple store after dinner and theatre if the Apple store closes late. Wicker Park is also a tourist destination just like Haight Asbury is in San Francisco. Celebrities such as Amy Poehler have been seen in Wicker Park's Potbelly. As for the land cost, know that many of the 3 BR, 2 BA single-family homes in this area sell for upwards of over $899K depending how close the properties are to public transportation (even in this recession). Borders is not doing well because people have gone electronic for reading materials such as Kindle and a version of it on the iPhone. But, Apple will have to hire an off-duty police officer as a security guard just like Home Depot (which is further down the street on North) and The Container Store because where there is money, there are crimes like shoplifting and using counterfeit money.

Absolutely spot on. The demographics for this site are perfect for Apple. It's in the middle of neighborhoods filled with young, affluent urban professional consumers. It's accessible by road, expressway and rapid transit for people from outside the area, too, with affordable parking that you won't find around Michigan Avenue or State Street. Drive through the area today and you get a vivid impression of the dynamics. The stores are all new construction on repurposed tracts of land. The amount of new and top-shelf residential construction - single and multi-family - is awesome. Smart investors want to grab any home deals they can find in the area right now, because in another year prices will be skyrocketing again. Sure, the diagonal, narrow streets make for lots of traffic congestion, but that's typical of the entire North Side. Borders across the street is a really nice bookstore in new construction, but its problems are the same as the entire Borders chain, which is struggling everywhere. BTW, I live in the suburbs and have no bias or favorites among Chicago neighborhoods. My closest Apple Retail Store is in Oak Brook, where I park in the garage directly underneath it. But looking at the new location objectively, it simply offers premier merchandising opportunities. Expect it to be one of Apple's top grossers.

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post #40 of 44
I love Apple. When we lived in Minnesota there were 2-3 Apple stores. But we couldn't afford to retire there. Too many taxes. So we purchased 20 acres in northern Arkansas near Lake Norfork. Problem with this setting is that it is about 4 hours from about any place to shop. Apple has a store in Memphis. It would be so nice if Apple would start building stores in booming economies down where the retirees are going. Mountain Home is a college town, but the folks, without any Apple store to see, touch, feel, think that PC's are the only thing in the computing landscape. Matter of fact, I was told by a college professor here, that I'd better get used to this as this is "Windows-land!" I wanted to puke. Not only did I get all of the assignments done that were posted on the internet (via Blackboard) with my Mac, I completed them faster and better than any of the other students that were brainwashed into believing that the only computer type was "PC".
I think it's time Apple got out of the big cities and started to do some proselytizing about the Mac. People in the big cities see the Apple stores and they are intrigued enough to be drawn in and see the wonderful products. But Apple has, so far, stayed away from the areas where a lot of purchase power has moved to. This is a college town and this one of the better places to bring a new Mac store.
There! Got it off my chest.
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