Cost of Chicago Apple store revised down to $27M from $62M

in General Discussion edited December 2016
Construction of Apple's new Chicago flagship retail store is well underway, and according to a report on Wednesday the final build cost is now expected to hit $27 million, down from an initial estimate of $62 million in October.

Once described as a "glass temple," the forthcoming outlet is quickly rising on Chicago River's north bank, anchoring one end of the North Michigan Avenue shopping district. Plans and architectural renderings filed by the property's owner, Zeller Realty Group, in 2015 detail a 20,000-square-foot glass, steel and wood structure that will one day soon serve the Windy City's Apple needs.

Apple and its partners initially estimated the build cost to come in at a massive $62 million, nearly three times the price of the company's Union Square store in San Francisco, according to construction permits filed with Chicago's Department of Planning and Development in October. However, documents filed just a few weeks later, and uncovered by the Chicago Tribune today, show a revision down to $26.9 million. The cost is more in line with other international Apple flagship locations.

When it opens next October, Apple's new Chicago store will feature a glass-walled foyer positioned at street level. Two support pillars running the height of the structure flank two grand staircases and an elevator, each of which leads down to a salesroom with even larger glass panels fronting the riverwalk. A flat carbon fiber roof spans the terraced architecture to create a wide open internal space.

Though not yet confirmed, longtime Apple collaborator Norman Foster of Foster + Partners is thought to be behind the store's design. The award-winning architect had a hand in a number of international flagships and was selected by late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs to take the lead on the company's iconic Campus 2 headquarters in Cupertino.

A separate report from the Tribune, also published today, says Apple's Chicago riverside retail shrine is expected to revitalize the area's shopping corridor by drawing in more foot traffic. In particular, the store could shift rent dynamics from traditionally high-value properties on the north end of Michigan Avenue to the south.

"There's a very big expectation that Apple will be a major driver of traffic and in turn, retail will want to surround it," said David Stone, president of Stone Real Estate Corp. "The question is when and if (those expectations) will be realized."


  • Reply 1 of 5
    Interesting to hear such numbers, by way of reference if $3,100/sf and $1,350/sf are scaled, a 3,000sf space (residence?) might run ~$9.3M and ~$4M...
  • Reply 2 of 5
    Interesting to hear such numbers, by way of reference if $3,100/sf and $1,350/sf are scaled, a 3,000sf space (residence?) might run ~$9.3M and ~$4M...
    That's about right in Toronto and NYC
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,697member
    An Apple-sized rounding error. 


  • Reply 4 of 5
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,677member
    There is something wrong with these new stores and store overhauls. They are supposed to be stores, not palaces or temples and quite frankly, if you walk into any larger store flagship store nowadays, you get the impression that the store itself was the creation and much less the products on sale in them.

    Foster + Partners? Right there they are bleeding money. For what purpose? To design a building that ultimately is sterile and lacking real charm and personality. Wood, glass and natural light is great but have you ever really seen an Apple Store that was all that different from the rest on the inside? This has been going on since the beginning with Jobs' insistence on the (expensive) flooring for some stores. How many people even bother to look at the floor of a store.

    In a way, this is similar to a pitch  I received from a company making dental implants. A so called world leader. However, on closer inspection, that world leader was spending more than half its revenues on marketing. Real innovation wasn't its goal. Its goal was to dominate its market segment by flogging it claims of being the 'best' and offering sweet deals to dentists so that they would use competing, cheaper, sometimes better technology. The company had lost its focus and how it reached its position in the first place.

    Apple has the cash to invest in these stores. How much did the Regents Street refit cost? Was is really that old?

    But it's not about having the cash. It's about spending it wisely. There is a lot I would change if I were head of retailing.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    avon b7 said:
    'They are supposed to be stores, not palaces or temples'
    It would be interesting to know how much relates to special design & systems requirements, and if furnishing is included - I know the business space where I am has some pretty great stuff the retail public never see, as much for (tech) training as sales I suspect...
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