Apple to build new 'prototype' retail store in Palo Alto, Calif.

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple could be considering a new design for its future retail stores, as the Mac maker reportedly plans to build a new "prototype" store in Palo Alto, Calif.



The intriguing details of a new design were revealed in a letter to city officials from the project's developer. "The proposed store is a new prototype for the applicant," the memo said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "Fully half the function of the store serves to provide education and service to business as well as customer patrons in addition to product sales. The store is a commons for the applicant's community to gather."



A proposal approved 3-0 by the Palo Alto architectural review board describes a building entirely transparent at ground level with trees growing inside. Skylights above would allow natural lighting in the store, and also allow the trees to grow. Apple was never mentioned in conjunction with the project, and the company has declined to comment, but sources have said the plans are for a new Apple Store.



"(The glass storefront) dissolves the boundary that traditional store facades create," the memo reads. "By not breaking the horizontal ground plane of the sidewalk with opaque wall or landscape element, for example, the street is made part of the store's interior; the pedestrian is in the store before entering it."



Bicycle and newspaper racks and a trash bin in front of the store will also be relocated to help create a clean, simple aesthetic.



Apple allegedly plans to close its existing Palo Alto retail store and move it to the new location at 340 University Ave. The site is currently home to an 86-year-old building that used to be a grocery store and a furniture gallery. The existing facade and roof will reportedly be demolished to make way for the new 10,700 square foot store.



The architect is said to be Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which is the same firm responsible for all of Apple retail locations, including flagship stores in Philadelphia, Chicago, Osaka, Japan, and the iconic Fifth Ave glass cube in New York City.



The closing of the existing Palo Alto store would be significant, as it is a landmark retail outfit for Apple. First opened in October 2001, it was the first street-level Apple Store, according to ifoAppleStore. It was also the ninth retail outfit the Cupertino, Calif., company built.







The existing Palo Alto store is about 20 minutes from Apple's campus at 1 Infinite Loop. When the iPhone first launched in 2007, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs himself made an appearance and spoke with programmers Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    We need an Apple Store in Thailand!!!!! iStudio [email protected]!!!
  • Reply 2 of 36
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    The store is a commons for the applicant's community to gather."



    I don't know the general state of Mac user groups these days, as I haven't been active for over fifteen years, but I remember having to move our venue several times. It would seem ideal for Apple to be providing its own venue for this kind of activity.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Bicycle and newspaper racks and a trash bin in front of the store will also be relocated to help create a clean, simple aesthetic.



    This is so Apple. What other company do you know of that uses the words "clean, simple aesthetic." when describing their need to remove bike racks in front of the store.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "The proposed store is a new prototype for the applicant," the memo said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "Fully half the function of the store serves to provide education and service to business as well as customer patrons in addition to product sales. The store is a commons for the applicant's community to gather."

    A proposal approved 3-0 by the Palo Alto architectural review board describes a building entirely transparent at ground level with trees growing inside. Skylights above would allow natural lighting in the store, and also allow the trees to grow.



    This sounds awesome. That is about the most beautiful store I've ever seen/conceptualized (and I'm not just saying that because it's Apple).

    I wish they would build another store in Delaware. The closest one to me is 1 1/2 hours away, and a bit small.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "(The glass storefront) dissolves the boundary that traditional store facades create," the memo reads. "By not breaking the horizontal ground plane of the sidewalk with opaque wall or landscape element, for example, the street is made part of the store's interior; the pedestrian is in the store before entering it."



    This is the one kind of funny part. I am in before I enter... Just a bit idealized. But hey, I know they'll do it right, if anyone will.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post


    I don't know the general state of Mac user groups these days ...



    Oh, they're still around:



    http://www.apple.com/usergroups/



    The one in Orlando, Florida has several loosely connected SIGs, including InDesign, FileMaker Pro, iPhone, lunch, and one whereby older Macs are fixed up and donated to nonprofits. In the age of the Internet, these groups are struggling, as depicted in the movie MacHEADS. They absolutely must focus on benefits that cannot be provided via the Intenet.



    Oddly enough, it's these user group members, the Apple faithful, who helped save Apple from certain death in the 90s.



    The Orlando group's newsletter:



    http://homepage.mac.com/flmug_orland...ter_200912.pdf

    http://homepage.mac.com/flmug_orland...ter_201001.pdf
  • Reply 5 of 36
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post


    I don't know the general state of Mac user groups these days, as I haven't been active for over fifteen years, but I remember having to move our venue several times. It would seem ideal for Apple to be providing its own venue for this kind of activity.



    Taking over the old Z Gallerie location, eh? There aren't a lot of large retail lots in downtown Palo Alto, so this would certainly be a step up from their current location (formerly a music store and for a short while a kitchen store).



    When Apple is talking about their "community", I don't think they intend to host traditional third-party user groups.



    More likely, they might build in an area to run developer workshops: the people who create the content (apps) that drives sales of Apple hardware (iPhones, iPod touches, the phantom tablet, etc.). With so many engineers and high-tech startups in the area, that would make better strategic sense rather than solely training beginner consumers on using iPhoto (admittedly they would accommodate both consumers and developers).
  • Reply 6 of 36
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Speaking of prototypes, does anybody know what is happening with Microsoft's retail outlets in Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA?



    With all those digital cameras around, perhaps somebody, particularly in Mission Viejo could give us a heads up.



    http://store.microsoft.com/Locations
  • Reply 7 of 36
    jtblqjtblq Posts: 86member
    Unobtanium tables and Navi Apple Geniuses.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Speaking of prototypes, does anybody know what is happening with Microsoft's retail outlets in Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA?



    With all those digital cameras around, perhaps somebody, particularly in Mission Viejo could give us a heads up.



    http://store.microsoft.com/Locations



    i thought the exact same thing, maybe m$ will demolish it and redo it to match apple's prototype...
  • Reply 9 of 36
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    This is so Apple. What other company do you know of that uses the words "clean, simple aesthetic." when describing their need to remove bike racks in front of the store.







    This sounds awesome. That is about the most beautiful store I've ever seen/conceptualized (and I'm not just saying that because it's Apple).

    I wish they would build another store in Delaware. The closest one to me is 1 1/2 hours away, and a bit small.







    This is the one kind of funny part. I am in before I enter... Just a bit idealized. But hey, I know they'll do it right, if anyone will.



    The Tampa Apple Store recently reopened after its renovations which included continuous floor-to-ceiling glass, its doors being full-height sliding glass panels as part of that new facade.



    Despite them placing a row of visible "dots" at eye-level along the glass, one store employee told me that they occasionally get people walking into the glass.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    It's at the intersection of Florence and University and it currently has a trendy looking store.





    This is a very good location as the cars coming down Florence to University will see it while stopped at the light.





    And it's only minutes from Steve's house too, so he will be there a lot to tweak things before heading to Cupertino for the day I assume.





    Of course the problem is lack of parking in the area, there is a Longs Drug next door that will compete heavily for traffic with the new Apple Store.



    There is some parking in the back, but requires walking around the entire block to get to the front of the store, unless they make a back entrance, which I doubt because it's a service entrance.



    The building is very long, so I suspect it will also have classrooms and other things besides a store.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markspain View Post


    . . .Oddly enough, it's these user group members, the Apple faithful, who helped save Apple from certain death in the 90s. . .



    There's nothing odd about that! The Apple faithful have always had that level of enthusiasm to form such groups which has indeed helped to sustain the brand.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    bspearsbspears Posts: 147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    "(The glass storefront) dissolves the boundary that traditional store facades create," the memo reads. "By not breaking the horizontal ground plane of the sidewalk with opaque wall or landscape element, for example, the street is made part of the store's interior; the pedestrian is in the store before entering it."



    .



    Steve is now working on his version of the real life UI.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markspain View Post


    Oh, they're still around:



    http://www.apple.com/usergroups/



    The one in Orlando, Florida has several loosely connected SIGs, including InDesign, FileMaker Pro, iPhone, lunch, and one whereby older Macs are fixed up and donated to nonprofits. In the age of the Internet, these groups are struggling, as depicted in the movie MacHEADS. They absolutely must focus on benefits that cannot be provided via the Intenet.



    Oddly enough, it's these user group members, the Apple faithful, who helped save Apple from certain death in the 90s.



    The Orlando group's newsletter:



    http://homepage.mac.com/flmug_orland...ter_200912.pdf

    http://homepage.mac.com/flmug_orland...ter_201001.pdf



    And they got kicked to the curb as a thank you.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple could be considering a new design for its future retail stores, as the Mac maker reportedly plans to build a new "prototype" store in Palo Alto, Calif. ...



    Hardly a "prototype" really, but it sounds pretty cool anyway.



    New business and retail architecture has been a pretty dull area for many years now. It would be nice if other companies would take the kind of risks that Apple does and think about the buildings a bit more.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    this sounds a lot like the stylings of the new stores they have been opening for a while. with the return of the theatre perhaps. and more room to move around.



    so basically, assuming it is Apple in the application, they want to remodel Palo Alto but likely can't do that much in the current location, so they are planning to move it to a new one where they can stretch out.



    makes sense.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,578member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iphonedeveloperthailand View Post


    We need an Apple Store in Thailand!!!!! iStudio [email protected]!!!



    iStudio is less than ideal for sure, but it is sure a step up from the traditional Pan Tip/Fortune Town shops. I would think that being able to get Thai or US plugs on the power cords would be a higher priority, instead of treating Thailand as North Singapore.



    iStudio in Phuket saved me once after my MBP power supply had a diving accident in Koh Lanta. Four extra hours in a boat/taxi, but was able to finish my project on time.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Speaking of prototypes, does anybody know what is happening with Microsoft's retail outlets in Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA?



    With all those digital cameras around, perhaps somebody, particularly in Mission Viejo could give us a heads up.



    I was at the Scottsdale store last week and saw an interesting trend. Of all the computers open and being demoed by customers, 80-90% were being used for games while the remainder were used for some other type of software. This is based on around 20 customers in the store using computers. There were around 35 customers total and the rest were using the "surface" computers for some game, a few were talking to sales people or gurus, and all the XBoxes were being used.



    brian g
  • Reply 18 of 36
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iphonedeveloperthailand View Post


    We need an Apple Store in Thailand!!!!! iStudio [email protected]!!!



    I'm in Malaysia and I heard iStudio is pretty good? \
  • Reply 19 of 36
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    And they got kicked to the curb as a thank you.





    I don't think it's anything like that at all, Steve is very appreciative I'm sure, but in order to create the future, the past Apple Computer, and it's failures, has to be forgotten.



    After all we want Apple to succeed, it's doing that wonderfully.



    It's the new Apple, the one risen and stronger than before, if that means kicking "us" to the curb and using fresh minds and a new approach so be it.



    Rarely does anyone get a second chance, Steve got it and he knows exactly what he's doing.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post




    Despite them placing a row of visible "dots" at eye-level along the glass, one store employee told me that they occasionally get people walking into the glass.



    LOL. Can't mandate away stupidity, I guess!
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