Apple looks to offload property for Stockholm store blocked by popular resistance

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With its original plans to build a Stockholm store mothballed, Apple is reportedly looking to sell back the Kungstradgarden property it intended to occupy.

An Apple concept render, showing how the store would've jutted into the park and occupied a prominent place.
An Apple concept render, showing how the store would've jutted into the park and occupied a prominent place.


The company is in the process of trying to sell the site -- still hosting a TGI Friday's -- back to the Swedish city, according to Fastighetsvarlden. One member of Stockholm's Urban Development Committee, Bjorn Ljung, indicated that Apple is aiming for a price of 179 million kronor, or about $19.3 million -- more than the 129 million kronor ($13.9 million) the company first paid.

Apple's concept was opposed not just by conservation groups but the general public, and some government organizations like Stockholm's Beauty Council. The city received approximately 1,800 public responses, nearly all of them standing up to Apple.

Corporate representatives were "completely furious" when the Kungstradgarden store was blocked, Fastighetsvarlden said. A real estate firm, Vasakronan, reportedly offered other city properties as an alternative, all of which Apple turned down.

The Kungstradgarden is a historic park often used for public events, and much of the concern over Apple's plans was that they would've commercialized the space -- TGI Friday's is only able to operate because of a deal specific to cafes and restaurants. City officials would've had to rezone for private retail, and go a step further, granting the company another 375 square meters around its current land.

Apple had promised to host its own events, including concerts, but these would most likely have fallen under the "Today at Apple" banner, intended to draw store traffic.

Apple's retail vision has come into conflict with public realities numerous times in the past. Last July the company was forced to abandon its original design for a shop in Melbourne, Australia after people complained it looked like a Pizza Hut and didn't match surrounding buildings.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 136member
    It's sad there is a TGIF's anywhere in the world. Even more so that it would be allowed whereas an Apple Store would not.
    AppleExposedScot1zoetmbLordeHawkchristopher126
  • Reply 2 of 37
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 855unconfirmed, member

    Why would people resist these gorgeous structures?


    My town doesn't even have one of these flagship beauties.

  • Reply 3 of 37
    There are too many Apple haters in Sweden. Add to those the group of people who don't accept any change at all.
    1800 responses is a rather small number, but the problem is that very few had voiced any opposing view.

    Then, after the September election, the new conservative majority chose to go against Apple.
    patchythepiratejbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 37
    I realize a 6 million loss on a real estate deal is pocket change for Appje. Seems to me Apple would have all government approvals in order, permits and historical sign offs done before purchasing a property to build on. 
  • Reply 5 of 37
    I don't see any connection between Vasakronan, a private company, and the city of Stockholm. So the offer from Vasakronan seems to have had no official backing. I also don't understand who are the "corporate executives" mentioned in this story. Does that refer to Apple? I couldn't figure out who those corporate reps were from reading the links. Unclear story. Regardless, I see no reason to support Apple in this story - the city can refuse to rezone if it wants. If Apple bought the property before it was zoned commercial that's Apple's problem. The people of Sweden hated Abba during its heydey too, so no real surprise for a culture of rejection.
    jbdragonrandominternetperson
  • Reply 6 of 37
    I've been visiting Sweden for the past 30 years, wonderful country and Stockholm is a stunning modern as well as historical city. Yes there is a horrific TGIF on this spot but many parks have kiosk or small cafes to provide a place to relax with outdoor seating. Apple lost this one fortunately and the city was not bullied into putting another corporate retail box within a busy urban park. 

    @TuTut every Swede I know has an iPhone and other Apple products, and what is considered "conservative" in Sweden would be a "lefty" in the USA. 
    propodminicoffeetyler82jbdragonraybo
  • Reply 7 of 37
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 320member
    A TGI Friday’s is a fitting use then. Taco Tuesdays!
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 8 of 37
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,787member
    TutTut said:
    There are too many Apple haters in Sweden. Add to those the group of people who don't accept any change at all.
    1800 responses is a rather small number, but the problem is that very few had voiced any opposing view.

    Then, after the September election, the new conservative majority chose to go against Apple.
    Not sure what the issues were but I checked some mobile device stats online and Apple is more than twice as popular as Samsung in Sweden, and as expected both are way above any other manufacturer. Furthermore, I also did a query for images of modern architecture in Stockholm and there are literally dozens of images of super radical architecture in Stockholm. To say it is about Apple haters and people who don't want any modern architecture doesn't seem to jibe with the statistics, but since I don't live there, online statistics is all I have to go on.
    AppleExposedwelshdogminicoffee
  • Reply 9 of 37
    FolioFolio Posts: 551member
    Actually, though I’m a fan and investor, I’m glad Apple Stores aren’t monopolizing all prime urban locales, like say Starbucks. I’m happy the company is responsive to Swedes and Aussies in these two cases. Better in the long run.
    welshdogsvanstromchristopher126raybospice-boy
  • Reply 10 of 37

    Why would people resist these gorgeous structures?


    My town doesn't even have one of these flagship beauties.

    I'm all for Apple succeeding in what they do.  But look at that image - the Apple store would really dominate the park from the look of things.  I'm not Swedish but I can see their point.
    welshdogsvanstromchristopher126spice-boy
  • Reply 11 of 37
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 372member
    Even McDonald's has had to conform to local architectures. In this case, it seems more than an issue of architecture but use of property. Apple does need to be more accommodating, as long as the rationales are not excuses.
    edited February 8
  • Reply 12 of 37
    I’m actually a bit pleased that Apple isn’t forcing the issue or trying to find a resolution. I felt that they previously would compromise too much trying to please people who can’t be pleased.

    Whether it’s unfounded fears of a data centre or a bustling shop (in a city! Imagine that) - it’s good that apple have turned the page on this.

    These stores add value to an area, they keep a very high level of foot traffic which has a halo benefit to the area, others invest in an area when they know Apple will be nearby, because they know the foot traffic alone will boost their business.  (Or in the case of data centres, jobs, locally paid taxes and community investment.)

    So if Apple’s new attitude is:  “you know what, fuck it - we’ll go where we are wanted.” Then I think that’s a good thing. 
    Gilliam_Bates
  • Reply 13 of 37
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 372member
    I’m actually a bit pleased that Apple isn’t forcing the issue or trying to find a resolution. I felt that they previously would compromise too much trying to please people who can’t be pleased.

    Whether it’s unfounded fears of a data centre or a bustling shop (in a city! Imagine that) - it’s good that apple have turned the page on this.

    These stores add value to an area, they keep a very high level of foot traffic which has a halo benefit to the area, others invest in an area when they know Apple will be nearby, because they know the foot traffic alone will boost their business.  (Or in the case of data centres, jobs, locally paid taxes and community investment.)

    So if Apple’s new attitude is:  “you know what, fuck it - we’ll go where we are wanted.” Then I think that’s a good thing. 
    But, according to the article, they offered other sites to Apple, but Apple refused. So, it doesn't look like "we'll go where we are wanted". 
    spice-boy
  • Reply 14 of 37
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    I realize a 6 million loss on a real estate deal is pocket change for Appje. Seems to me Apple would have all government approvals in order, permits and historical sign offs done before purchasing a property to build on. 
    That's not how real estate works the U.S., and it's unlikely to be any different in Sweden.

    Without having secured an interest, or outright ownership, Apple would have had no rights or legal standing to negotiate, obtain permits, or attempt any action with regard to the property.

    For such a desirable location such as this, where there would probably be other competitive bidders looking to buy the property, it would be doubly foolish to tip its hand about its interests and its plans without having first secured ownership, especially for a secretive company like Apple.

    And these aren't the kinds of things that can be made into contingencies that can void sales agreements.

    One simply cannot see a house for sale, decide that they'd like it, and propose to buy it only if the HOA agrees to allow it to be painted pink before the sale takes place.

    Assuming the news report is accurate, the previous owners, the Chamber of Commerce, warned Apple that it would not be able to demolish the existing building or have a different use for the site.

    Yet Apple bought it anyway, and learned a lesson.
    edited February 8 randominternetpersonsailorpaulraybo
  • Reply 15 of 37
    Renovating historic buildings that have seen better days and may even be in disuse is a better approach for urban goodwill than the "town square" stuff. There's a creepy element to the latter. 
    edited February 8
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Stockholm's loss.

    I doubt that Apple would even notice.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,725member
    jimh2 said:
    It's sad there is a TGIF's anywhere in the world. Even more so that it would be allowed whereas an Apple Store would not.
    I say give the Swedes a Taco Bell.  
  • Reply 18 of 37
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,248member
    larryjw said:
    So, it doesn't look like "we'll go where we are wanted". 
    You don't know that. There's no assurance that there wouldn't be public outcry just because the city was onboard with the alternatives. And obviously Apple would balance where they're wanted with ROI and most if not all levels.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    lmaclmac Posts: 187member
    Apple should just dig a giant hole and leave it there. Or turn it into a Hooters.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    I realize a 6 million loss on a real estate deal is pocket change for Appje.
    Apple is aiming for a $6M profit.

    ”The new finance citizen council Anna König Jerlmyr (M) told the Real Estate World in December that the city can imagine starting to discuss buying the building from Apple - which was sold for SEK 129 million (which gives a price record of SEK 172,000 / sq.m.).

    The crux, however, is that Apple now wants much paid, really much more.According to Björn Ljung, Apple now wants SEK 179 million, ie 50 million more.

    - It is far beyond what they paid. They claim that they have put a lot of effort into the project, says Björn Ljung, to the Fastighetsvärlden.

    SEK 179 million corresponds to a total of SEK 239,000 / sq.m., based on the area of ​​750 sqm. It is a full 83 percent higher than the highest square meter price for a commercial property known to the Real Estate World.”


    edited February 8
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