Grand Central Apple retail store awaits approval

Apple has submitted a proposal for a new store in the iconic terminal in New York City. It could be the company's biggest store yet.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Apple is set to be the latest tenant in yet another international landmark.

CNN reports that Apple has submitted plans to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board for a new store in New York's Grand Central Terminal. Pending approval later this week, Apple can begin work on a retail spot there, making it the company's fifth store in the city and potentially one of its largest overall.

The space, which The Wall Street Journal reports Apple will rent for $1.1 million a year, is more than 23,000 square feet and stretches between two balconies. By comparison, Apple's Regent Street store in London is 25,000 square feet, 22,000 square feet of which is accessible to the public. The next-largest store, according to Apple retail tracking site Ifoapplestore, is Covent Garden with 16,372 square feet of public-facing retail space.

"We have submitted plans for the store we intend to create in world-renowned Grand Central Terminal and we look forward to working with the MTA," Apple spokesman Nick Leahy told CNET. "Our four stores in Manhattan are incredibly popular with customers and we're excited to bring the Apple retail experience to this incredible location."

The company declined to share what the store would look like.

Murmurs that Apple was seeking a spot in the iconic transportation hub began in February with a report from Cult of Mac that Apple planned to open one up in time for the 10th anniversary of its retail efforts. The rumorsurfaced once again in late May with a Journal report that the MTA was looking to fill up a 15,230-square-foot space, and that Apple had "expressed interest" in it.

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Part of the deal involves buying out restauranteur Charlie Palmer and his Metrazur restaurant, which has a lease running through 2019. In a follow-up report this morning, the Journal says that's happened, with Apple paying Palmer $5 million to give up the spot.

A store in Grand Central Terminal would rival the location of the company's store inside the Louvre's attached shopping area in Paris.

Apple currently has four retail locations in New York City: Fifth Avenue, SoHo, Upper West Side, and West 14th Street. Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store, which has become one of the most photographed and visited locations in the city, is currently undergoing an estimated $6.6 million overhaul, slated to be completed by November. A report last month suggested Apple is also set to renovate its SoHo store to increase the square footage, opening up a nearby temporary store during construction.

During its fiscal third-quarter earnings call with analysts last week, Apple noted that it's now up to 327 retail stores, with plans to open an additional 30 between now and the end of September. The company opened up just four new retail stores in the previous quarter, though the average revenue from its stores overall jumped around 20 percent to $10.8 million a store.