San Francisco Apple Store building sale breaks real estate records at nearly $50M

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's existing San Francisco flagship retail store building has landed a deep-pocketed buyer as the company plans to move up the street two blocks to the former Levi's spot directly on Union Square.


Existing Union Square Apple Store selling for almost $50 million


According to a report by the San Francisco Business Times, the current One Stockton Apple Store building will change hands for nearly $50 million, or an incredible $3,000 per square foot.

The price sets a new real estate price record even for San Francisco's upscale Union Square shopping district, where properties have been trading for closer to still rather rarified $2,000 per square foot.

There's scant room in the neighborhood for retailers wanting to locate next to other high end brands, making Apple's own sourcing of the prime spot being vacated by Levi's even more fortuitous.

Apple has nearly outgrown the One Stockton spot (show above, behind the supposedly "minimal invasive" Central Subway construction). The store originally featured a theater that has since been removed to make space for more "One on One" training session tables.

The location sports a skylight perched above an all-glass staircase, but those showy steps also consume much of the building's functional central space. It also lacks windows outside of the ground floor frontage.

Moving on up

Apple plans to demolish the existing, triangular wedge building formerly used by Levi?s (portrayed below) and build a new store in its place, using a design reflecting the company's more recent retail palaces with wide open interiors fronted by walls of glass.

At the iPhone 5s unveiling earlier this month, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook called particular attention to the company's recently upgraded Stanford store, which similarly employs walls of glass that make its roof appear to hover (below).

New Union Square Apple Store


Apple has adjusted its Union Square building plans in response to San Francisco's committee-designed permitting process, which loves to micromanage the minor details of arbitrary projects that pique its interest, while rubber-stamping horrible building plans that don't.

New Union Square Apple Store


So far, the City's input has resulted in arbitrary changes to the planned building's front that mandate its glass front must be inset by a few feet, and stipulated a side window to break up the oppressive 20 foot high wall of steel Apple had intended to erect along Stockton.

The revised plan also portrays an existing folk art fountain behind the store, which became the subject of much hand-wringing and consumed more attention and concern than the City's boondoggle Central Subway currently being tunneled underneath the spot.

Construction of the multibillion subway stint has shut down Stockton Street in front of Apple's existing store for most of the past year. It someday plans to shuttle short trains from Caltrain to a new station directly on Union Square, and then a few blocks north to Chinatown, expanding a feeble transit system that is already being figuratively run into the ground through a lack of competent planning.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Not a fan of that large wall either, but if I had to look at that fountain I would avoid putting in a window too.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    When I look at the original plan and the revised one, I actually like the original. But I'm sure it's the render that isn't doing it 'justice'.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,637member
    $50 Million for a crappy old building just because it was an Apple store at one time? boggles the mind.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,772member
    Maybe they should keep both locations.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,520member
    Apple-built things are known to have high resale value.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Purchased by Samsung. /s
  • Reply 7 of 30
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    $50 Million for a crappy old building just because it was an Apple store at one time? boggles the mind.

     

    And you know that its the former Apple presence that resulted in that price... how?

  • Reply 8 of 30
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple plans to demolish the existing, triangular wedge building formerly used by Levi?s (portrayed below) and build a new store in its place, using a design reflecting the company's more recent retail palaces with wide open interiors fronted by walls of glass.



    At the iPhone 5s unveiling earlier this month, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook called particular attention to the company's recently upgraded Stanford store, which similarly employs walls of glass that make its roof appear to hover (below).

     
    New Union Square Apple Store


    With all that glass, surely they will be forced to reintroduce a matte screen option if they expect to sell any computers in the new store. /s

  • Reply 9 of 30
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    the City's boondoggle Central Subway



    multibillion subway stint has shut down Stockton Street in front of Apple's existing store for most of the past year. It someday plans to shuttle short trains from Caltrain to a new station directly on Union Square, and then a few blocks north to Chinatown, expanding a feeble transit system that is already being figuratively run into the ground through a lack of competent planning.

     

    emphasis mine.  This guy is NOT a fan of the subway.  Check. 

  • Reply 10 of 30
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    Purchased by Samsung. /s

     

    I was thinking that. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility.

  • Reply 11 of 30

    Geez, I though you guys were tech commentators not urban planners.

     

    Your comments about the Central Subway, the Ruth Asawa fountain and the east wall of the original plan are completely dismissive of the views of many San Franciscans.  The objections to Apple's original plan did not come from the powers that be who were ready to sign up for whatever Apple wanted.  Rather they came from a groundswell of public opinion about Apple's first set of drawings.  The Norman Foster architects could have done much better homework.  They obviously had no feel for the civic attachment to the location or the Asawa fountain.

  • Reply 12 of 30
    Originally Posted by rdrich View Post

    Your comments about the… …fountain… …are completely dismissive of the views of many San Franciscans.


     

    We have many here who’ve already weighed in to the negative, though. H. R. Geiger’s fountain doesn’t really have a place next to Apple engineering.

  • Reply 13 of 30
    If the hyperbole and fluff were removed from every DED story they might be worth reading. Is he paid by the word?
  • Reply 14 of 30
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    If the hyperbole and fluff were removed from every DED story they might be worth reading. Is he paid by the word?



    I enjoy them.  Something more than just a spruced up tweet.

  • Reply 15 of 30
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     
    Originally Posted by rdrich View Post

    Your comments about the… …fountain… …are completely dismissive of the views of many San Franciscans.


     

    We have many here who’ve already weighed in to the negative, though. H. R. Geiger’s fountain doesn’t really have a place next to Apple engineering.


     

    In your mind nothing has a place next to Apple. But stop and think for a moment why Apple is building the store in San Francisco. The city is home to millions of diverse people with many different opinions and cultures. That is why Apple wants a store there, because of all the potential customers. Customers come in all shapes and sizes. They are not all futuristic silver spandex wearing space travelers. The most unattractive part of SF is the multitude of homeless street people. What if they decide to sit on the steps in front of the Apple Store. Should they be removed by the Police for detracting from the glorious Apple architecture?

  • Reply 16 of 30
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

    In your mind nothing has a place next to Apple.


     

    Thanks for telling me what goes on in my mind. Nice to have an insider’s opinion for once. How’d you get that information, anyway?

     

    But stop and think for a moment why Apple is building the store in San Francisco. The city is home to millions of diverse people with many different opinions and cultures. That is why Apple wants a store there, because of all the potential customers. Customers come in all shapes and sizes. They are not all futuristic silver spandex wearing space travelers. The most unattractive part of SF is the multitude of homeless street people. What if they decide to sit on the steps in front of the Apple Store. Should they be removed by the Police for detracting from the glorious Apple architecture?


     

    What in the world is wrong with you. The question mark’s not there on purpose.

  • Reply 17 of 30
    Gotta be M$ or Samsung. Trying anything to emulate Apple...heh.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Damn, I was planning to open a Subway there! Crap!
  • Reply 19 of 30
    New buyer is Samsung who will open a new concept: a standalone store. They began working on it years ago before Apple stole their idea.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Why does AppleInsider pose editorials as news articles? Keeping the fountain and stairs, and adding a window on the Stockton side are both good pedestrian-oriented urban design moves - which is EXACTLY what the city should be concerned with. And this project deserves extra scrutiny due to its location in Union Square - a very pedestrian-oriented urban area. I love how you throw in an almost unrelated jab at the city's transit system, in a pathetic attempt to discredit the city entirely. Because HOW DARE anybody stand in Apple's way! Please, just stick to talking about things you understand... clearly not urban design.
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