“The long-awaited deal for Apple’s sprawling subterranean store in the GM building was recently finalized—but only after landlord Harry Macklowe promised Steve Jobs he could take his big $9 million glass cube with him at the end of the lease. Techno aesthete Jobs personally designed the 32-foot-by-32-foot box that will mark the store’s entrance on the Fifth Avenue plaza (formerly home to a T.G.I.Friday’s). ‘Steve Jobs felt that he created the cube so he owned it,’ says Apple broker Robert Futterman, noting that Macklowe wanted it to stay put. ‘At the eleventh hour, that was the biggest issue,'” Deborah Schoeneman reports for New York Magazine. “At the end of the twenty-year lease, Jobs must replace the cube with a comparable structure before hauling it off.”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 4:33pm EST: Photo of Apple’s glass cube under construction here. Artist’s rendering of the finished cube here.]

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Glass cube assembly begins at site of Apple’s 25,000-square-foot 5th Avenue flagship store – October 28, 2005
RUMOR: Apple Store coming to Midtown Manhattan beneath transparent glass cube – March 04, 2005