Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue store will become twice as big

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Apple's most iconic store will reopen next year.
Photo: Davis Staedtler/Flickr CC

Apple’s Fifth Avenue retail store in Manhattan may be its most iconic retail store in the world, but Apple’s set to make it even more impressive.

How? By more than doubling it in size — from its current 32,000 square feet to a massive 77,000 square feet.

The news was revealed during by Douglas Linde, president of Boston Properties, which is the co-owner of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Ave., which houses the Apple retail store. Linde was speaking during a conference earnings call.

While construction is taking place, Apple has moved to a nearby location, which previously housed the FAO Schwartz store. Renovation plans were first revealed back in 2015, although as far as I’m aware, this is the first time we’ve heard that the reopened store will be twice the size of its predecessor.

The reopened Fifth Avenue Apple store store will open late 2017, at which point its current nearby location will be passed on to Under Armour. An Apple spokesperson described the upcoming new Fifth Avenue Apple store as “incredible,” and said it is somewhere “customers will [be able to] enjoy new services and experiences in a much larger space.”

A bigger cube?

What isn’t clear to me for the story is whether Apple has plans to physically alter the size of the glass cube which makes up the Apple store’s entrance, or whether the expansion will be limited to the underground area where the actual shopping takes place.

Interestingly, according to a 2014 book The Liar’s Ball: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World’s Toughest Tycoons, Steve Jobs originally wanted the 32-foot Fifth Avenue Apple Store cube to be substantially bigger, at around forty feet.

To convince Jobs of the smaller size, real estate guru George Macklowe commissioned two full-size replicas to be built on the site for an inspection by Apple.

“Macklowe knew that the only major flaw in Jobs’s concept was the size. Forty feet was too big — not just for zoning restrictions but for the scale of the building. No one would like it — not the city, not the tenants. He also knew that talking about it with Jobs wouldn’t get him anywhere. He’d have to show Apple what he meant. He invited Apple’s retail development executives, Ron Johnson and Robert ‘Rob’ Briger, to the building two weeks after the Cupertino meeting, to view a scaffolding mock‐up of the cube — in the dead of night. (Regulations forbade Macklowe to build during the day.)

Around two in the morning, the group met in front of the GM Building. The 40‐foot cube was unveiled. They all agreed it was too big. It obscured the building. Macklowe was grinning. He then gave the signal, and the model was dismantled — only to reveal a 30‐foot cube he had secretly constructed underneath.

His magic trick worked. Apple was sold on the smaller cube.”

Are you excited to see the newly-enlarged Fifth Avenue Apple store when it finally reopens? What is your favorite Apple store in the world? Leave your comments below.

Source: Bloomberg