Exciting! This sounds like it will be very nice with the glass entance!
Apple to build elegant retail store in Manhattan's Midtown
By Prince Mclean
Published: 12:00 PM EST
Sometime this year Apple Computer is expected to begin renovation and construction efforts on its second New York City-based retail store, set to touch down in central Manhattan.
After months of searching for a feasible location in pricey Midtown, the company has reportedly settled on a lease for a massive retail space in the lower-level concourse of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue, between 58th and 59th Street.
The GM building, which rests atop an entire city block directly across the street from the Plaza Hotel, is also home to an FAO Schwarz toy store, which moved in fourteen years ago. The building is also just a few strides from the southern tip of Central Park.
Although it's very early in the development stages, sources say Apple will turn the 21,000-square-foot space into a retail store that will 'rival anything seen so far' from the company's retail division.
Specifics are lacking, but one source claims Apple will give the exterior of the store a look similar to the glass Pyramid found in the Louvre's cour Napoléon, only in cube form.
The cost of the venture is expected to be steep. Apple's existing New York-based flagship store, located in Manhattan's SoHo district, reportedly costs the company just over $2 million in rent each year, on top of an initial $5 million in renovation costs.
Insiders believe the GM retail location fetched over $3 million a year.
Exciting! This sounds like it will be very nice with the glass entance!
March 2, 2005
A Cube in the Land of the Wheel
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
A rendering of a glass cube planned as part of the revamping of the plaza of the General Motors Building.
aving failed sadly in its emulation of Rockefeller Center, the plaza opposite the Plaza will now try being more like the Louvre.
By fall, a glass cube 32 by 32 by 32 feet will be set like a jumbo gemstone into the middle of the plaza of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue. From the outside, the cube will appear empty. But inside will be a circular glass stairway and a cylindrical elevator leading to a 25,000-square-foot underground space.
In other words, the cube will function like I. M. Pei's Pyramid in the Cour Napoléon of the Louvre: a crystalline marker, a gateway into a subterranean realm. Only the local version will be more transparent - even the structural framework is to be made of glass - and, this being New York in the year 2005, it will usher visitors not to culture but to retail, almost certainly a much larger version of the Apple Computer store in SoHo.
The plaza itself will be relandscaped. The slightly elevated bosque at the south end, reached by wraparound steps, has already disappeared behind construction barriers. Its twin on the north end is also destined for demolition. The new plaza will be on a single level from 58th to 59th Streets, framed at each corner by low, wide, L-shaped parapets.
Two shallow pools will flank the cube, surrounded by movable chairs, tables, planters and a half-dozen honey locust trees. "There are no obstructions and it gives a commodious public space," said Dan Shannon of Moed de Armas & Shannon, which has redesigned the plaza for Macklowe Properties, the new owners of the G.M. Building.
Amanda M. Burden, the chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, who has made the improvement of public space a key goal of her tenure, said yesterday that the plan was a "tour de force in design that returns the G.M. plaza, really, to the public realm."
This is the second attempt in six years to make an amenity out of a privately owned public space that generated a big development bonus in the 1960's for the G.M. Building - almost 200,000 square feet, roughly seven of its 50 floors - but never quite lived up to the civic side of the bargain.
Originally, the central area was depressed 12 feet below the sidewalk in an apparent and unpersuasive homage to the sunken plaza at Rockefeller Center. It was once dominated by the Autopub restaurant. Writing in The New York Times in 1970, Craig Claiborne said, "The waiters and busboys are decked out in garage mechanic outfits, which may be some grim commentary on some aspects of the service."
When Donald J. Trump and the Conseco insurance company bought the building in 1998, the lower plaza was home to a Houlihan's restaurant and slathered in green artificial turf. Under a plan by Thomas Balsley Associates, a landscape architectural firm, the plaza level was raised higher than the surrounding sidewalks.
"My primary purpose was to close that horrible well," Mr. Trump said yesterday. That he did. He was, however, unable to find a retail tenant for the new space created by decking over the sunken plaza.
Even the elevated plaza had its problems, Ms. Burden said. "It used to drop too many levels in grade," she said. "And then they added the ziggurats and people don't like to go up that high. All the grade changes did not invite vitality."
Mr. Balsley said at the time that his goal was a plaza that "becomes part of the fabric of the city." Indeed, the plaza is often a lively place, with crowds in front of the CBS studio during "The Early Show" or "N.F.L. Today" and streaming into F.A.O. Schwarz.
CBS plans to keep using the plaza, said Michael Bass, senior executive producer for "The Early Show," and is now working out future arrangements. An executive vice president of F.A.O. Schwarz, Kim Richmond, said, "We think that when all the construction is done, it will be quite spectacular."
Apple would not comment. "We have not announced any additional retail locations in New York City at this point," said Katie Cotton, the vice president for corporate communications.
Though the cube will be the most-talked-about element of the renovation, it is not the largest change. That will occur along Madison Avenue, where the base of the structure will be extended outward 10 feet and a recessed public space will be eliminated to create a solid, two-story retail wall behind a new glass facade.
In trying to increase the amount of revenue-generating floor area, Samuel H. Lindenbaum and Robert E. Flahive of the law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, representing Macklowe Properties, calculated that the G.M. Building, as built, had 1,464,105 square feet of space, or 53,709 square feet less than would have been permitted under the existing zoning formula.
They reasoned that because each square foot of plaza generated 10 bonus square feet of development, that meant 5,371 square feet of public space was not needed for the building to comply with zoning rules.
They also determined that 19,873 square feet of space in the building had been or would be converted to mechanical use. Because this is not counted as floor area by zoning rules, they explained, Macklowe could build the 8,374-square-foot Madison Avenue extension and the 405-square-foot cube, with room to spare.
Now how does a 32-foot cube yield only 405 feet of floor area? Shouldn't it be 1,024? "When you walk into the cube, you have the elevator and the stairs," Mr. Lindenbaum explained, "but the whole floor is not filled in."
Harry Macklowe, the chairman of Macklowe Properties, bought the G.M. Building in 2003 for $1.4 billion. The architectural firm Gensler is working on the renovation with Moed de Armas & Shannon.
With an evident passion for architecture, Mr. Macklowe thought first of modifying the existing retail entrance with a crescent recalling Norman Foster's Canary Wharf Underground station in London. He solicited ideas from Santiago Calatrava and from Mr. Pei, raising the prospect of a Louvre-inspired design.
As Mr. Shannon recalled, Mr. Pei demurred, saying the Pyramid could not fit on the G.M. plaza. To which Mr. Macklowe answered, "I'm only speaking metaphorically."
Last winter, a 40-foot mockup cube, in scaffolding and scrim, was hastily assembled on the plaza one midnight and just as quickly taken down before dawn. Seeing it helped Mr. Macklowe decide that the actual structure ought to be 32 feet, matching the low-rise base of the building.
To preserve the public spirit of the plaza, Ms. Burden said it would be critical that "the cube itself is the advertising" and that signage be kept to a minimum. Apple typically marks its stores wordlessly, with an apple logo.
This recalls the approach taken a century ago by Tiffany & Company, which saw no need to puts its name on its new store at Fifth Avenue and 37th Street, as long as the Atlas statue was out front.
Asked what sort of commercial message would appear on the cube, Mr. Macklowe said: "Nothing. It's word of mouth."
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
March 7, 2005
Birds and Glass Buildings
To the Editor:
Re "A Cube in the Land of the Wheel: Redefining Public Space at the G.M. Building" (news article, March 2):
Although the redesign of the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue seems attractive, it will likely be hazardous to birds, which cannot recognize glass as a solid surface.
Since 1997, New York City Audubon's Project Safe Flight has found more than 4,000 birds that have been killed or injured by flying into glass. The toll includes more than 100 species, 42 percent of which are in decline.
New York City Audubon is raising awareness in the architecture and design community.
We seek opportunities to work with the glass industry to develop a glass that is transparent to humans but visible to birds.
On March 11, architects and conservationists will focus on bird-friendly design at a conference in Chicago.
E. J. McAdams
New York City Audubon
New York, March 2, 2005
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Not what I'd call breaking news, but an update nonetheless.
New photos show progress at Midtown Apple store site
May 09 - 6:00 pm EST Following a series of Macklowe Properties file photos that appeared on internet last month, tipsters have passed along a more recent set of images taken from the construction site of Apple's forthcoming Midtown, Manhattan Apple retail store. The photos reveal the basic structure of the space in the underground concourse of the General Motors building at 767 Fifth Avenue. A sub-basement also appears to be present in the photos, with two adjacent stairwells leading further underground.
Sorry, but I couldn't copy the pics into the post. They have 5 construction pics on this site:
They know that if they said "pigeons" no one give a flying rat's *ss.Originally Posted by Kris
Bovis is doing the plaza renovation at the GM buildimg, lets just say they have a "not so par" record on completing projects ontime so this may take sometime
Originally Posted by kliq6
What is with you so down on anything NY?
i worked for them for years, i should know and they not NY, there Australian run. If you want it built right in NY you go to Turner or Tishman and Structuretone for Interiors
Last edited by kliq6; June 20th, 2005 at 10:41 AM.
Can't seem to get this link to come up.Originally Posted by pianoman11686
Hoping that this renovation will be as fantastic as I'm imagining. That plaza has NEVER worked -- and if the Apple store in SoHo is any indication then this addition will really enliven that plaza (plus it will be beautiful, for once!!).
Talk about your sour grapes.Originally Posted by kliq6
Tishman is a class act and, I think, NYC's premier building company.
Turner and Bovis are both publicly owned and rely on volume. However, as a former Bovis employee, you should be well aware of Bovis' New York Regional office. It was started by Peter Lehrer and Genen McGovern, formrly of Morse Diesal in 1982, In 1988, Bovis (a Division of P & O Steamship) bought the firm, name change to Lehrer McGovern Bovis (aka LMB) and over the next four years Bovis shot to the top five CMs in ther city and topped ENR's CM's and At Risk Construction firms in the country. After 1992, they begin pulling away from "at risk" building, although on the Interiors side it is inevitable. In the 1990's Bovis (Now headed by New Yorker, Peter Lehrer) then purchased Schal Associates based in Chicago and McDevitt Street based in Charlotte. From the second half of 1996, through the end of that decade, LMB and McDevitt Street played tug of war for dominance in the company. Although Luther Cochran succeeded Peter Lehrer as head of Bovis, the New York office of Bovis accounted for 60% of domestic revenues and that put the argument to rest.
Also, Peter Lehrer and Gene McGovern really put "Construction Management" on the map, they came in and really created a new kind of industry (and destroyed to some extent all pre-existing fee structures in the industry)
Lend Lease (an Australian Firm) came shopping around 2000. Maintaining the structure under the Bovis plan, they kept Peter Marchetto in place as head of the New York office and he is basically the man running things overall ever since (see aforementioned comment on revenues). Pete is a New Yorker through and through. He started out of college working for Peter and Gene at Morse Diesal and rose through the ranks: Super, APM, PM, AE, VP, EVP to become President. He is still there. So, save you bitter Bovis pill for people who might be less educated.
Tishman, FYI has been in NYC building and construction for over 100 years. They were at the forefront of a lot of "firsts" in construction, including the first use of airconditioning in a commercial building, first use of flourescent lighting in commercial buildings and on and on. They originally were developers builders. In the 1970's they went public, but John Tishman was unhappy with the direction of the company and bought it back. There was a split in the family and that resulted in David Tishman (hope I got "David" right) and Jerry Spier (Tishman cousins) forming Tishman-Speyer (an unrelated company). John Tishman is a legend in this city and Dan Tishman is a pure class act. Additionally, Dan Tishman, along with Jody Durst are at the forefront of Green Building and, not just for publicities sake, Durst and Tishman are both invested and involved in sustainable farming and developing eco smart agriculture. Tishman Realty & Construction Co. Inc under Dan Tishman is one of the top 100 provately held companies and its Tihman HOtel corp isthe nations second largest independent hotelier, owning amoungst other properties - the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, the Disney World Hilton, The Haye-Adams in DC, the Chicago Sheraton, The Westin NY, The Westin-Rio Mar in Puerto Rico. They are not "huge" staff-wise, but they are making more money than any other firm in the city and, probably the country (as an overall company).
Turner is a New York Company that is also a public company. They have a good reputation and are easily lumped within a group that includes a Tishman and a Bovis.
Now Structuretone... First, of those four, only Structuretone has been implicated in kick backs and associated with every stereo-type and negative aspect of the industry. To be sure that these are no mere allegations, the CEO and Owner, Donaghy, was convicted, went to jail and is barred from setting foot inside the Structuretone office now run by his idiot son, James. For the record, Jimmy's daddy maintain a "separate" office right outside the firms front door, where all the Structuretone employees "visit" regularly. Structuretone is not a CM - it is a contractor. A good 80% - 85% of thee work is at risk and their revenue numbers are totally inflated. The operation is family. The White family and the Donahy family. The Whites are immensely more sophistcated than the shany Irish Donaghys. John White is the last remnant of respectability that firm will ever have. That being said, between the two family's it would a challenges to pull together one operating brain. That firm is all about payback, kickbacks and low-bidding. The lowball bidding and then run up excessive change orders. They claim st be a $4B firm, yet they still contract to do things like "install an office door".
For someone as educated as you appear to be, take a look around. Not many Structuretone signs around. And, where you do see them, you can be there some crap building going on. They are incredibly disreputable in the industry and the nly reason they survived the scandal that rocked the company is because it is all family run and no one in the industry (i.e. Turner, Bovis, Tishman) would EVER hire anyone from that firm. Donaghy, White, Neary, on and on. They grease the palms that need it and their work is 95% in the interiors sector - the most notoriously crooked of any sector in the industry. They are one of the worst firms with the worst reputations.
I am really kind of shocked by their inclusion.
Skanska, on the otherhand, is a firm that has really taken off in the last 7 or 8 years as have Pavarini McGovern. (Note: Structuretone owned Pavarini, but in 2001 the McGoverns: Gene & Eric - bought into the company and at THAT point it was on the map - as a NY entity it was non-existent - operating primarily out of Connecticut only.)
Last edited by BrooklynRider; June 20th, 2005 at 04:20 PM.
Since the sale of LMB to Lend Lease, many things include the top personal outside of Pete Marchetto and Jim Abadie have left, and the structrure of the firm is much different.
Sorry of my post offended you Brooklyn, but unless you work for Lend Lease, cant see why you care.
I'm not going to take his too much further into this tangential abyss. I care because I know people who work there and I can personally vouch for the professionalism and standards they adhere to. While you point to who has left, I can point to who has stayed on.Originally Posted by kliq6
No need to be sorry for what you posted, but no need to question my motives. Why I care or would post what I did is irrelevant. We could just flip that question back and forth a few hundred times. Unless you had an axe to grind with Lend-Lease, I can't imagine why you would make such a post.
You took a swipe a firm you know and I defended a firm I know. They happen to be one and the same. Here we are at an open forum. Next...
lofter1: I just tried using the link and it worked fine, so I hope there aren't any more problems with it.
Law & Order: You really watch that show too much, haha.
Everyone else: Let's stay optimistic about this site being developed on schedule. Apple is investing a heck of a lot of money into one of hundreds of stores, and according to them, it will be their new flagship, replacing the current flagship which I believe is in San Francisco off Union Square. Anyways, the cube structure should be in place by fall, and I imagine they would love to have the store open before the big holiday shopping season begins. It's great news for the plaza, which has lacked vitality for a while. And I'm sure the store will fair a lot better than FAO Schwarz, which I believe was considering closing at some point due to poor profits. This will be a little gem of a building that will definitely earn a unique place in the city.
My laugh out loud moment of the morning.Originally Posted by Law & Order