As fans line up for Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue retail store, a third NYC store is in the works

“From the time the General Motors Building in New York City opened in 1968 at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, its sunken retail plaza has been a failure. Retail experts in Manhattan’s real estate community called it “the Well” when trying to entice a tenant or just talk it up; in private, though, they referred to it as ‘the Pit.’ Even at this stage of the real estate cycle, there are several commercial REITs with attractive yields and capital gains potential. But with Apple Computer opening its 147th retail store in the plaza on May 19, the dank image looks to be jettisoned like a well-tongued apple seed,” Peter Slatin reports for Forbes.

“Apple hopes the Pit instead becomes a fleshy, juicy fruit and draws hordes of consumers into the transparent, 32-foot-square cube jutting up from the GM Building’s beautifully transformed plaza (now brought up just above the street and graced by two small pools), down the glass-enclosed circular elevator or the broad, floating, curving staircase to the 10,000-square-foot store below. Apple fans had already begun lining up on Thursday morning for Friday’s 6 P.M. opening (enticed by a one-MacBook-per-hour giveaway for the first 24 hours). If that die-hard enthusiasm is any indication, the company should feel optimistic,” Slatin reports. “From the Steve Jobs-designed cube to the point of entry on the GM plaza– which faces the Plaza Hotel and Grand Army Plaza–to the bright, column-free shopping expanse below, with its iPod and Genius bars and its tables of supercool Macs and MacBooks, Apple appears to have met the challenge of creating a flagship store worthy of the distinction.”

“This is Apple’s second store in Manhattan; the company also operates a store on Prince Street in SoHo. Although Ron Johnson, senior vice president for retail at Apple, declined to say where in Manhattan Apple’s next shop will open, retail specialists are convinced that the computer maker has decided on 34th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, directly opposite the Empire State Building and less than a block from Herald Square, home of Macy’s,” Slatin reports. “There, a joint venture between SL Green Realty and developer Jeff Sutton has acquired control of three buildings totaling more than 50,000 square feet. Unlike the off-street, offbeat frontage on 59th Street, this location will offer at least 75 feet of frontage. SLG declined to comment.”

Full article here.

{UPDATE: 8:10pm EDT: Deleted errant link caption.]

Related articles:
Sneak peak into Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue Retail Store – May 18, 2006
Extraordinary Apple Store Fifth Avenue to open on Friday, May 19 (with photos) – May 18, 2006
Apple’s Fifth Avenue ‘Glass Cube’ store to test several retail innovations – May 17, 2006
Mac users to converge on NYC; plan overnight sidewalk camp for opening of Apple Store Fifth Avenue – May 13, 2006
Apple starts online countdown to Apple Store Fifth Avenue ‘Glass Cube’ Grand Opening – May 11, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs may visit New York City to cut ribbon on glass cube – May 04, 2006
Apple’s Fifth Avenue ‘Glass Cube’ retail store grand opening on May 6 in New York City – April 27, 2006
32-foot-by-32-foot glass cube-topped Midtown Manhattan Apple ‘Mecca’ to serve the faithful 24/7? – April 18, 2006
Photos of Apple’s $9 million 32-foot-by-32-foot New York City Glass Cube – January 01, 2006
Steve Jobs to eventually take his NYC big glass cube with him – December 02, 2005
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


  1. So they got a great price at a good location that had previously failed due to weak design. So now we see that the cube isn’t some vain monumentó Steveolíssimo, it’s a visual magnet to draw folks down into the store.

    Apple is consistent. Good design put to work.
    For the most part.
    With a few failures.
    Once in a while.

  2. I don’t get it – it’s just a store for God’s sake!!! Why the big deal? Yes it’s in a big city and has an interesting design, but sheez. I’ve never seen so much hype for such a….mundane….item like a new retail store opening.

  3. Guys I kid you not

    I am waiting for the first issue MyVue to be delivered to my door today.

    I’m presently loading up my video iPod with all sorts of videos to test it out.

    I have been entitled to a first edition, limited release in anticipation of a larger release to come in two weeks.

    Brand new technology and you get to hear about it first from me.

    Stay tuned to MDN posts for details.

  4. I’d say the “cube” is probably more related to the form-factor of a full-sized iPod box and the stunning looks of the glass staircases they’ve already been placing in their more “showcase” locations (like the SoHo store) than the Rose Center.

    A 34th Street location tho? The next article after this mentions the potential sales to tourists … putting an Apple Store between the two tourist-trap anchors of Macy’s and the Empire State Building, AND giving it 75+ ft of in-your-face street frontage? Which will be longer … the lines to ride the elevator to the Observation Deck of the ESB or the lines of people trying to buy iPods (see the next story for the why’s of this)?

    MW: Damn, I wish I had some land in Midtown right now….

  5. Even at this stage of the real estate cycle, there are several commercial REITs with attractive yields and capital gains potential. Click here for three new picks from the Forbes/Slatin Real Estate Report.

    From your article, MDN. Does anyone there read the articles after they cut and paste? I don’t think Peter Slatin reported that for Forbes.

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