Plans call for a 23,000-sq.-ft. store with minimal alterations of the landmark building
Contrary to rumors and published reports, the new store that Apple (AAPL) wants to build in New York City's Grand Central Terminal would not be its largest. At roughly 23,000 square feet, it would be smaller than London's Regent Street (25,000 sq. ft.) and the Covent Garden (24,600) stores.
But according to ifoAppleStore's Gary Allen, it would be one of its least expensive. Restrictions imposed by the landmark building (guidelines here) mean that Apple's alterations would necessarily be minimal.
Working with details given to the Wall Street Journal by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Allen figures Apple will pay
That's considerably less that the $2,000 per sq. ft. tenants pay in Manhattan's upscale shopping districts.
Of course, retail space in suburban malls can be had for less than $20 per sq. ft., but Grand Central Terminal is not your typical suburban mall. Some 750,000 people pass through its marble halls every day, and traffic swells to more than 1 million per day during the holidays. According to the Grand Central Terminal website, 50% of its commuters' household incomes are over $100,000, and 20% are over $200,000.
"Our four stores in Manhattan are incredibly popular with customers and we are excited to bring the Apple retail experience to this incredible location," Apple spokesman Nick Leahy told CNN.com.
If Apple's proposal is approved by the MTA board Wednesday, as expected, and construction goes according to plan, the new store could be open for business by November, just in time for that well-heeled holiday traffic.
Below: Renderings of the store that the Wall Street Journal attributed to Rob Bennet for the Journal, but which Allen says were produced by Apple for the MTA.
"I only need to say this one sentence to get across the magnitude of this launch," wrote Julian Alexander (AKA Tommo_UK) on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board Friday evening:
"The lines were bigger than for ANY launch, I have ever seen, for anything, anywhere. Including for any iPhone launched to-date or last year's iPad.
"Simply awe inspiring," he continued. "There must have been several thousand people lining up outside the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 26, 2011 11:10 AM ET
London's new Covent Garden store proves once again that Apple can pull in the crowds
Before we talk about numbers, you might want to check out the video at right (and on YouTube here) shot 10 minutes before Apple opened its newest and biggest store, in London's Covent Garden.
This is not London's first Apple Store. In fact, the city already had three others, including one on Regent Street that was, until MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 7, 2010 9:26 AM ET
Its 300th retail outlet, in London's Covent Garden, is its most ambitious yet
Londoners were already starting to queue up Friday outside Apple's (AAPL) newest retail outlet -- in Covent Garden -- its fourth in the city and its 300th worldwide. The grand opening is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. GMT.
This is an Apple Store for the record books. Largest and most expensive. Longest Genius Bar. Biggest staff (300 employees). MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 6, 2010 8:15 AM ET
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