Apple to Expand Iconic NYC ‘Cube’ Store in Lift for Fifth Avenue

  • Makeover at GM Building to be ready next year, landlord says
  • Corridor has been hit by Trump Tower traffic, vacancies

Traffic passes by the Apple Inc. store on 5th Avenue in New York.

Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is more than doubling the size of its renowned store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, bringing a boost to a retail corridor that’s suffered from Trump Tower congestion and persistently high vacancies in the past year.

The technology giant will expand the store -- known for its distinctive glass cube -- to 77,000 square feet (7,150 square meters) from about 32,000 square feet, Douglas Linde, president of Boston Properties Inc., said on the company’s earnings conference call Wednesday. The Boston-based landlord is co-owner of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Ave., which houses the Apple location.

Boston Properties has been working to fill empty retail space at the property. Linde referred to Apple as “that mystery tenant we’ve been talking about for over a year.”

Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, among the world’s most expensive shopping districts, has suffered from a record amount of available store space as retailers balked at expensive rents sought by landlords. In addition, President Donald Trump’s presence at Trump Tower, just two blocks to the south, has tied up traffic in the neighborhood, causing police to set up barriers and limit the free flow of pedestrian traffic.

Apple has already moved temporarily into the former FAO Schwarz store that closed in 2015, to the rear and to the right of the cube, Linde said. Once the expansion of its space is done late next year, Apple will leave the FAO location and it will be turned over to Under Armour Inc. Kevin Plank, the sportswear maker’s chief executive officer, last year said the GM Building outlet will be “the single greatest retail store in the world.”

Apple spokesman Nick Leahy said the company anticipates an “incredible” new Fifth Avenue store, “where our customers will enjoy new services and experiences in a much larger space.”

— With assistance by Henry Goldman, and Alex Webb

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