After three years of whispers about expanding or moving the Third Street Promenade (S. Calif.) retail store, plans have surfaced for a new store two blocks away that would be a twin of the Upper West Side (NYC) store. As first reported by LA Curbed, the Santa Monica Planning Commission will consider a proposal tomorrow from a holding company who purchased the building at 1415 Third Street last September. The owner wants to demolish the existing three-story building that was formerly a Borders bookstore, and construct a “one story retail business,” according to the building permit application. Typically, neither the application submitted on April 28th nor the renderings mention Apple. But the project description and the building appearance leave no doubt who will occupy the space. The Third Street Promenade store opened along the busy pedestrian mall in this seaside city in July 2003, and is one of the chain’s busiest locations. The existing store is a single level, 45-foot wide space with less than 7,500 square-feet. The new store would have a 75-foot wide storefront with about 8,000 square-feet of public retail space, all under a 34-foot tall arched glass roof. Another 5,210 square-feet would be within a partial basement used for back-of-house operations.
The building owner, Blatteis & Schnur , Inc., circulated a promotional brochure (pdf) after purchasing the building, calling it a “premier flagship retail opportunity” along “the strongest block and strongest street within the core shopping district.” They purchased the building for more than $26 million in September 2010, according to press accounts. Blatteis & Schnur was apparently prompted to buy after a $265 million renovation of the Santa Monica Place shopping mall, just a block south. The brochure states the average household income within five miles is $106,012, about double the average for the other Apple stores. At the time, the company said it was planning a “dramatic renovation” of the building with 10,750 square-feet on each of three floors, with a 75’8″ storefront.
At one time the building at 1415 included a passageway from Third Street through to the rear alley, which accesses several public parking structures. The passageway is among about 10 along the promenade that allow shoppers to park near their destination, and to then quickly walk onto Third Street. The previous owner applied to have the passageway removed from within the building, and relocated to the south, outside the building. Apple’s proposal does not include a pedestrian passageway.
Download (pdf) the city staff report on the proposed project setting out the project specifics, the applicable permit regulations, and conditions on an approve permit. Also, view large versions of the renderings.E-mail this story