Stanford shopping center

Apple Is Building A Beautiful New Store To Overshadow Microsoft In Palo Alto [Images]

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Apple is building a big, visually stunning store in the Stanford shopping center. A few hundred yards from the construction site sits a small, modest Apple location. Last spring, Microsoft opened a flagship spot right next to the small Apple store with a free Maroon 5 concert.

Whether for pure dollars and cents or for appearances (maybe both), Apple has been very aggressive in Palo Alto in the past couple of years. The company had a very nice store on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto; in October 2012, they moved down the street to an even bigger, more prominent location. Now, this new store in the Stanford shopping center is supposed to become one of the company’s flagship stores.

We’re told that the company tests its retail products at the Stanford Shopping Center and University Avenue locations; when the company began offering self checkout, the engineers who worked on the project were in those stores testing the new systems. This new flagship location offers enormous space for testing new retail products, and makes the nearby Microsoft store an afterthought at best.

Ifo Apple Store reports that the “store design was completed in 2011 by Apple’s long-time architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. It was approved by Steve Jobs about six months before Tim Cook assumed the position of CEO in August of that year.”

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The design for the store features a visually floating roof and gives passerby’s wide angles to see the storefront; a large stone wall will reportedly separate the front of the store from the back (Image via Palo Alto Online).

The Palo Alto Online reports that construction is happening seven days a week, usually beginning at 7 a.m. on the 12,000 square feet store. The Palo Alto Online also reported that while initial estimates had the store opening in November 2012, delays may be due to “the sensitive glass design of the building.”

Employees at the University Avenue Apple store told TechCrunch that they don’t know when the Stanford shopping center store will open; employees said that some of them were only given two weeks notice in October before they moved down the street to the new University Ave. location.

I checked out the construction myself, and the store is impressive. While it looks months away from an opening, it’s a massive space and the glass facade will be a striking architectural accomplishment that makes the store stand out even with impressive neighbors.

Less than two minutes after I started taking pictures of the construction, a security guard told me to stop, as taking pictures of any buildings or logos is “against their policy.” Never change, Palo Alto.

Check out more photos of the construction below:

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While most of the construction is hidden behind a large fence, you can see the massive glass panels and early work on the roof in these photos.

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Here you can see the scope of the complex, with the glass section in front.

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Images via Mary Orlin.

Update (08/30/13): The store is looking much further along now. We’re told the store will open on September 7 and that it is being treated as an unofficial West Coast flagship store.cdv_photo_002 cdv_photo_001 cdv_photo_003

 

New pictures by Susan Hobbs.