Alternate Chicago Site Becomes Active

April 11, 2009

After dropping plans to build a store on State Street in downtown Chicago (Ill.), Apple has now reportedly signed a long-term lease for a northside triangle of land at 1560 N. Halsted Street. The Chicago Business Web site (reg. req.) first noted Apple’s interest in the property back in June 2007, and now says Apple has closed the deal on 18,000 square-feet of space at $700,000 a year. According to Chicago Business, Apple will erect a 15,000 square-foot store on the space, where a service station once stood. The publication adds that Apple’s commitment will help speed commercial development of the area around the store. City records show that the property owner was granted a demolition permit last November, and then received approval on February 25th to construct a single-story building on the site. Apple’s sign-on, however, may require another round of city permit applications. The store could open in early 2010. Photos of the lot after the break.

Thanks to Brian for these photos, taken coincidentally just before the news article was published.

By April 12, 2009 the lot had been cleared off and various barricade supplies were being stored on-site.

By April 12, 2009 the lot had been cleared off and various barricade supplies were being stored on-site.

This is a portion of the parcel map for Chicagos north side, showing the 18,000 s.f. triangle of land that will host an Apple store.

This is a portion of the parcel map for Chicago's north side, showing the 18,000 s.f. triangle of land that will host an Apple store. Notice the block numbers that are available–which street and which block number will Apple select for this store?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

DBX April 11, 2009 at 1904

Well, I’ll be darned. I had wondered what was going in there. That was one of the bigger gouge artists among North Side gas stations. For transit the location could not be better; literally next door to the North/Clybourn Red Line station and at the intersection of two bus routes. For people who prefer the subway to express buses it will be a big improvement on the Michigan Avenue store which is in the thick of the bus action but several blocks from the subway. But a lot of people like to drive to that area (for Crate and Barrel, CB2, Whole Foods, Best Buy, REI, Borders and a whole host of other standalone or strip mall retailers) and so I’m assuming Apple will have to put in underground parking because there’s literally not a square inch of space for at-grade parking on the Apple lot and each business (or strip mall) has its own parking that it jealously guards.

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Brian Kaempen April 11, 2009 at 2315

Oh Wow was this good timing! I was up there on thursday and noticed construction prep underway, so I snapped some pictures hoping you had heard anything about permits or whatnot. The pics are in your inbox, but basically it’s barricades and signs that will be used to block some of the street traffic while the block is worked on. There’s absolutely no space for extra equipment, but the plot is an odd size. Any sort of permit plans available? Apple could really do something unique here, I’m not saying flagship, but with 3 sides facing 3 major streets, we Could see something like a single story San-Li-Tun (China) store with all glass walls. I’ll keep an eye on the site.

-Brian

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Mark Wilson April 12, 2009 at 0043

Instead of leases, and since they have $28 billion in the bank, why not just buy properties like these.

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mcdaid April 12, 2009 at 0947

This is a great site for an Apple store. Who would have ever guessed it would go here though because it is such an odd lot of land…BUT it is in the middle of the action in Lincoln Park and will be a lot easier to get to than the Michigan Avenue store, which I have to pay $30 for parking down there, or ride my bike. This is a great idea… way to go Apple!!!

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@Agent_Luke April 12, 2009 at 1834

The speculations have been around for a while and I am glad that this is finally getting some more attention. I would also assume the petro storage tanks have been removed from the underground? With the red line literally feet away the plot and structure integration sure should look interesting. Can’t wait for some concept drawings.

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Gary April 12, 2009 at 2317

Photog Brian also notes that some 50-gallon metal drums on the property have dates painted on them–last July. Perhaps Apple was awaiting the results from soil and groundwater tests of the former gasoline service station before signing the lease. Soil remediation is a real pain if there were any underground tank leaks.

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DBX April 13, 2009 at 0602

It’s also worth pointing out that with Chicago’s transit fare system, a location like this becomes particularly convenient for Apple customers combining a visit to the store with other errands. Breaking a journey in Chicago simply incurs a transfer charge of 25 cents for the first break and zero for the second as long as it’s all done within two hours of starting the trip. Alternatively, you can even make a roundtrip out of it. Just go to the store, get your business done, and get back through the barriers at the train station within two hours of starting your trip, and it’s still just the 25 cent transfer, for a total round trip cost of $2.50. Too few people in Chicago are aware of this convenience of using transit here for errands; maybe more will figure it out with this store.

And no matter what the fare system is there’s the convenience of having the store right on top of the station like that makes it realistic for transit customers to deal with even fairly large items, whether carting it out after buying or bringing it in for service.

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Brian Kaempen April 13, 2009 at 1304

Apple Insider also has an article on this store. It’s apparently going to be “a 15,000-square-foot store” and be a flagship store. Their pictures are simply Google’s Streetview, so they’re very outdated. These pics are 4 days old. Judging from all the outsider’s description of this as being “Lincoln Park” (I feel that it’s too far south, but that’s just me), I bet Lincoln Park will be it’s eventual name.

-Brian

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IamSpecial April 17, 2009 at 1052

This location isn’t in Lincoln Park. River West would be more accurate. It’s been an up and coming area for the past 20 years. Considering the recording studios and other businesses in the area, I can’t think of a better spot in the city.

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Marvin8 June 9, 2009 at 1813

I don’t read anywhere that Apple’s gonna provide parking, which would put a big hurt on them in that ultra ultra-congested shopping area. It’s nice that it’s 20 ft from the subway, but I ain’t gonna pay $5 for the to and fro trip. I really hope that they provide some kind of parking, but I highly doubt it.

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Marvin8 June 9, 2009 at 1815

Oh, and I’d never want to be an employee in that store what with the fact that it’s been either a gas station or bus turnaround for the past 50 years.

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