An enormously wide and suspiciously white plywood barricade has appeared along a retail street in Walnut Creek (N. Calif.), announcing that the existing Apple store two blocks away will eventually move into much larger quarters. The future expansion store is part of a $250 million, multi-phase redevelopment of the existing Macerich Broadway Plaza mall in the downtown, approved by city planning officials just last week. The existing Apple store opened in July 2003 in a 30-foot wide space that was adequately sized at the time. But like other stores of the era, it has steadily grown crowded with visitors. The future store will occupy a 75-foot wide space that spans a combined 13,200 square-feet on the ground floor and in a partial upper-level, back-of-house space. That would provide about quadruple the space of the current store. Light construction is now underway behind the barricade, and schedules filed with the city indicate the store could open in late 2015. Update: A commenter notes alternate plans for the space described here. But information about the move is authentic, so another space (Bldg. 6) is a possibility. In June 2014 a Banana Republic store opened in the depicted space, knocking the sense out of my speculation. Of course, Apple would still like to expand the original store.
Renderings of the future development show the space behind the white barricade is one of the very few to allow tenant-provided architecture, a key requirement of Apple. Blueprints show that parcel to be 75 feet wide and about 145 feet deep.
The mall redevelopment is being performed in phases out to 2017, but Building C2 is among those in the first phase that will be completed some time in 2015. Blueprints or renderings for the Apple store space itself haven’t yet been filed with the city.
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