Work On Blockbuster NYC Store Begins

September 13, 2008

After the city of New York has issued building permits last month, construction work has now begun on a new Manhattan retail store that could be the most expensive installation in the chain’s history. The store at 1981 Broadway will occupy a renovated and upgraded building at the prominent northwest corner of 67th Street formerly occupied by Victoria’s Secret. According to city permit records, the cost of the project will total over $38.5 million. The store will feature a huge 85-foot storefront on Broadway, with a 130-foot long wall along 67th Street. The building will have a sub-cellar, basement and a single floor of retail space totaling 8,459 square-feet, and will stand 45-feet tall, even taller than the existing building. Apple and its architects Bohlin, Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) continue to submit paperwork related to the project, but have already agreed to retain three existing trees planted in the city sidewalk, and to add another six trees in order to meet the city’s planting requirements. The site originally held a movie theater and other businesses, but was rebuilt in 1999 into a three-level, 25,000 square-foot Victoria’s Secret. The store will become the fourth Manhattan store when it opens within a year. There are no details on the visual appearance of the building, although the new George Street (Sydney) and Boylston Street (Boston) stores do provide some insight into BCJ’s current preference for storefront design.

Permit applications for the store indicate that the architect has retained 50 percent of the existing building’s exterior wall, a technicality that eliminates some permit approvals. The applications also indicate that the basement space will be zone for both “retail” and “mech. rooms.” It’s not clear if the public retail space will be limited to the ground floor or if, like at the Fifth Avenue (NYC) store, there will be some retail space below ground. Without a basement or upper level, the store could be the first high-profile store without a glass staircase.

The permits indicate that the sub-cellar will be occupied by offices, along with “mech. & elec. equip. rooms, storage.”

News sources say the rents along this section of Broadway range from $300 to $350 per square-foot.

The building is two blocks from the Lincoln Center, home to many of the cities cultural activities.

Download (pdf) a package of the permit documents.

Here is the official plot map of the future Broadway (Manhattan) Apple store.

Here is the official plot map of the future Broadway (Manhattan) Apple store.

This is the listing that appears on the Web page of Madison Retail Group, the company that arranged Apples leasing of this building.

This is the listing that appears on the Web page of Madison Retail Group, the company that arranged Apple's leasing of this building.

The future Apple store will occupy the left-most building, and will eventually be about 7-feet taller than the building show here.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Kaempen September 13, 2008 at 0911

Why can’t they make it 2 or even more likely given the store’s traffic, 3 stories? I know with the Michigan Avenue store, they kept the back wall and a side wall from the former Gap store, then they added some height to the back using cinder blocks. It just seems like for the space, the proposed height/stories isn’t worth all that much.



Eric Lewis September 13, 2008 at 1753

Id say make it two floors

put all the services on the second such as genuis and ipod bar plus creative stuff…

and all retail sales on the main level

this would make the store most efficient


Gary Allen September 14, 2008 at 0647

Eric — There’s definitely something strange going on with the space allocation. The permits definitely list the square-footage and floor use as only a sub-cellar, basement and ground floor. No mezzanine, no second floor, etc. Interestingly, the lot is zone for up to 22 stories! Apple…go for it!


Brian Kaempen September 14, 2008 at 0800

Can you make a 22 story glass staircase? Spiral all the way up? Even if it couldn’t be done now, Apple would find a way to make it happen. Would a 22 story apple store be one of the largest retail spaces in the world?



Eric Lewis September 15, 2008 at 1214

Why would apple make a 22 story store? wouldnt they just do what they did with ginza and build offices above…and that income would pay for there lease


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