Apple looks to sell Stockholm property following prolonged public outcry over flagship store plan

“As the sun sets on plans to transform a historic park in Stockholm with the addition of a flagship Apple store, Apple is now looking to unload the property it planned to occupy and distance itself from the project, according to a new report from Swedish publication Fastighetsvärlden,” Michael Steeber reports for 9to5Mac. “Last October, new Stockholm City Council leadership vowed to halt Apple’s retail plans for Kungsträdgården, one of the oldest and most respected parks in Stockholm. Designed by architects Foster + Partners, the store was destined to replace an existing TGI Fridays with a glass and stone pavilion anchoring the entrance to the public square. Swedish officials and citizens scorned the move as an attempt to privatize public space and commercialize a revered landmark in Stockholm.”

“Looking to recover well over three years of lost time and funds sunk into the project, Apple is now looking to sell the TGI Fridays site back to the city of Stockholm at a significant premium, today’s report notes,” Steeber reports. “Stockholm Urban Development Committee member Björn Ljung claims Apple is seeking SEK 179 million (roughly $19.3M USD) for the property, a significant increase over the SEK 129 million ($13.9M USD) [for which] the plot was originally purchased.”

“Part of the increased price tag may be due to ill will between Apple and the city following a multiyear public turmoil,” Steeber reports. “After first showing off models of the proposed store in February 2016, Apple and Foster + Partners made significant design revisions after the building was deemed too large and intrusive to the park environment. Outgoing Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts was said to be personally involved in negotiations.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because a TGI Friday’s isn’t a privitization of a public space and a commercial enterprise.

The plot’s current occupant – a branch of TGI Fridays. (photo: Roland_Lundgren/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The plot’s current occupant – a branch of TGI Fridays. (photo: Roland_Lundgren/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Stockholm says no to Apple ‘town square’ in its oldest park – November 1, 2018


  1. I’ve been to Stockholm many times (lived in Uppsala for a couple of years), and have had lunch during one visit at that particular TGIFridays. It’s just as tacky and underwhelming as all of the TGIFridays in the US I’ve visited. Can someone, preferrably a Swede, explain to me why a TGIFridays is somehow perceived as classy and worth keeping?

    Tack så mycket!

  2. Nothing pisses off local community like entering an area, telling them what you’re going to do and expecting them to just accept it.

    Even though a TGIF is probably not ideal, would it be the case that people think that change would make things worse? Would an Apple Store, in their opinion, leave the park worse off than it is now?

    Apple had a chance to consult with the community and give them something that everyone could accept. They blew it with hubris.

    1. “in February 2016, Apple and Foster + Partners made significant design revisions after the building was deemed too large and intrusive”

      Doesn’t seem like “expecting them to just accept it”.

      1. I know but when you have already made your mind up barely moderating your presentation so as to wind up the natives and are only interested in forcing your Pre concieved vision upon others no matter what the aggravation you cause, thats what you get. Oh by the way thats ‘So’ I’m talking about not Apple, the latter could never be so unsubtle and arrogant in their prejudices.

  3. Sorry Stockholm — love you but your’re missing out. In five years you’ll be clamoring for it — the usual lag time for digesting iconic bits of American culture.

    1. Now that’s an interesting point never has there been such a carbuncle of ugliness portrayed as minimalist but classic style on the outside, only outdone by the worst shopping experience ever invented within. Blue boxes are just so naff but you can’t knock the Swedes ability to con us into thinking otherwise.

    1. Which reminds me from way back when Apple was trying to raise its profiles someone Seriously proposed Apple cafes. I’m sure that was not an April 1st joke. Talking of fast food I guess if they could get to sell a Big Mac it might stop some of the whinging on here mind.

  4. Having lived in Stockholm for 20+ years, I may be able to provide some insight into the reasoning process behind the local outcry.

    While there is no specific affection for the TGI Friday’s franchise or the dining experience provided at that particular restaurant, the building and landscaping at that end of the park has remained essentially unchanged for several decades. I like Apple and Apple Stores enough that I was looking forward to the change, but there is a sufficient critical mass of Stockholm locals who resist such substantive change of a local landmark, regardless of whether it would be a clear subjective improvement or not. The fact that such change was being driven by a rich and powerful American corporation also played into it. A Swedish company proposing to move into the same building with minimal exterior changes would not have been so controversial.

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