Planning Documents Confirm Future Edinburgh Store

February 27, 2013

A set of planning documents just submitted to Edinburgh (Scotland) city officials provides final confirmation that an Apple store will open in city center, inside an historic building where renovations are just being completed. The store at 10-15 Princes Street will be within sight of the city’s iconic hilltop castle, and along the city’s busiest shopping street. The store will span two levels totaling 9,000 square-feet, with basement and other back-of-house spaces totaling another 8,500 square-feet. Apple store enthusiasts were on the prowl for several years trying to find where Apple would locate—apparently, so was the company. It wasn’t until March 2011 that Apple selected an historic building that variously housed a Woolworth’s department store and Burger King fast-food restaurant. For the past 18 months construction work by the building owner has focused on restoring historic architectural details and upgrading the building’s support systems. Then, earlier this month Apple’s local architectural firm, MPA Architects, submitted applications and drawings to the city for a retail store, but did not reveal the future tenant. However, the architects are the same ones who assisted in creating the Covent Garden (London) Apple store. Also, the drawings match the unique interior design and layout of Apple’s stores. And finally, a construction application filed for a Barclays Bank within the same building specifically mentions the corner tenant will be Apple.

Download (pdf, 35 Mb) the complete set of planning documents for details on the store appearance and interior layout. The plans were submitted February 15, 2013. Tenants of the other two retail spaces have also recently submitted their plans, while plans for a hotel on the upper floors is still pending.

The exterior of the Apple store will resemble several of its recent high-profile stores, notably the Amsterdam (Netherlands) store, with several large glass windows at both sides of the corner location. The storefront along Princes Street will be 62 feet wide, and will offer passersby a view of the glass staircase to the upper level.

According to the drawings, on the ground floor there will be 15 display tables and eight wall counters to spotlight Apple’s products. A linear glass staircase at one side of the space will rise to the upper level, where there will be a long Genius Bar table in the center of the space, two kids tables and 10 set-up and training tables. A Briefing Room and offices will also be on the upper level behind the rear wall.

In the basement back-of-house, there are three offices, an employee break area, product storage shelving and an area labeled “call center.”

Based on the timing of the planning documents, the store could open in late 2013 or early 2014.

The architect’s drawing of the upper level (1st floor in European parlance) shows the layout of the Genius Bar, kids tables and set-up/training tables. The glass stairs (bottom) lead to the ground floor. A Briefing Room is to the left, along with administrative offices.

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