For Apple, North & Clybourn > Block 37
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 13, 2009 4:00PM
A month after speculation over an Apple store at Block 37 was the center of a lawsuit filed by another Block 37 tenant, Apple itself announced the location for its newest Chicago store: North & Clybourn. The new store will go up on the site of an old gas station where North, Clybourn, and Halsted all intersect. According to Crain's:
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, which has been mulling over the North Avenue location for about 18 months, has signed a long-term lease, paying top-dollar annual rent of about $700,000 just for the land, sources say. Apple would build a roughly 15,000-square-foot store, designed by the San Francisco office of architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, sources say. The firm designed Apple's "glass cube" store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and its 25,000-square-foot outlet at 679 N. Michigan Ave., which opened in 2003. Spokeswomen for Apple and Bohlin decline to comment.
Bill Smith, a principal developer with Chicago-based Smithfield Properties LLC, told Crain's the decision makes sense given the buying power of the North & Clybourn location over State St.: "The Loop is playing to a slightly lower socio-economic group than North and Clybourn. Look at the demographics of Lincoln Park." Ty Tabing, executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance, begs to differ, saying, "The reality is that Block 37 offers up foot traffic that is around-the-clock, from workers and theater-goers and students to new residents. That's not available at North and Clybourn."