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.
Apple's (AAPL) 258 retail stores may be drawing fewer visitors and bringing in less revenue than they did before the economic downturn (see stats below the fold), but they can still make a splash.
Witness the grand opening video -- shot by No. 2 in line -- of the company's 21st U.K. Apple Store in Brighton on Saturday, complete with the usual long snaking queue, 1,000 free T-shirts and over-the-top high-fiving MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 26, 2009 7:19 AM ET
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