Apple Is Scouting London’s Financial District

September 2, 2011

A proposed demolition and new 10-story office building in the financial district of London (UK) has attracted the attention of Apple’s retail team, who might want to lease the entire 13,000 square-feet of ground-floor retail space when the building is finished. A source told the Reuters news service that Apple has talked to the developer of 100 Cheapside about becoming a tenant in the building, which also has about 86,000 square-feet of upper-floor office space. The building is less than two miles from the existing Covent Garden store and would be the third in city center. However, the project is currently in limbo on two fronts—first, the land is owned by the city of London, which is still looking for a buyer after one bidder dropper out. Second, plans for the building are being challenged by 13 neighbors, who say they were not consulted about the proposed building’s height and bulk, and how it will block their sunlight. The neighbors’ challenge is part of a nationwide effort to set a legal precedent on whether neighbors to a proposed project have a right in law to sunlight, or whether planning officials can approve buildings that reduce sight-lines to the sun. Because of these uncertainties, it’s not clear when the building will be finished or when the store might open. You can view a list the application documents submitted by the developer to the city of London planning agency, or download (pdf) the individual building elevation, floor plan or project summary (which uses photos of Apple stores as an example retailer).

This rendering by the firm Michael Aukett Architects shows the final proposed design for the building, including the retail space on the ground floor with large windows.

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