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Grand Central Apple Store to Open Soon, Report Says

By Jill Colvin | November 9, 2011 12:42pm
A rendering of the Grand Central Apple store, which is slated to open in the fall 2011.
A rendering of the Grand Central Apple store, which is slated to open in the fall 2011.
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MIDTOWN — Grand Central Terminal’s shiny new Apple store is just days away from opening, according to an online report.

9to5Mac.com, an Apple insider blog, reports that preparations for the holiday shopping season at the massive store are already well underway, with Nov. 19 — the Saturday before Black Friday — being eyed as the most likely opening date.

According to the site, future employees of the store have been holed up in a Times Square hotel for the past several weeks, going through the company’s intensive “Core” training program, which includes "presentations, role-playing, and even a workbook."

The workers will also reportedly be sent out to shadow employees at other stores before the opening date.

"I love any Apple store," said Michelle Brunwasser, who was busy typing away on her iPhone Wednesday morning in Grand Central Terminal.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

The Grand Central store, which is expected to be the company's biggest, will span 23,000 square-feet of the station’s east balcony, overlooking the main concourse.

The area is currently shrouded behind black fabric, with construction workers ducking in and out. Asked about developments, workers at the scene said they were sworn to secrecy about the opening date.

An Apple spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Grand Central said it was too soon to confirm a date.

But news of a possible November opening had fans of the brand counting down the days.

“It's exciting!” said Marco Rendon, 36, who lives in Brooklyn but was passing through Grand Central. He added the new store would be a great place to kill time when he has to wait for his girlfriend’s train to arrive from White Plains.

“I love any Apple store. I think they bring this great energy to any space,” agreed loyal fan Michelle Brunwasser, 50, who commutes to her office in Greenwich Village from Scarsdale via Grand Central every day, and clutched her beloved iPhone as she spoke.

She said the new location will be especially convenient for picking up accessories and holiday presents on her way home from work.

“It will be a great place,” she said.

But not everyone was jumping up and down about the prospect of a new Apple store.

Miles Oschwald, visiting from Milwaukee, said he worried the new store would take away from the iconic space.

“I feel like this is such a beautiful building. I don’t know if you need an Apple store,” he said. “That’s definitely unappealing to me.”

Renderings of the store released by the MTA show an open-air design, with Apple's signature light wood tables and chairs blending in almost seamlessly with the pale stone and chandelier-lit background.

Unlike many of its existing locations, there will be no glass walls and a single glowing "Apple" logo will beckon commuters to the store.

MTA spokeswoman Margie Anders described the design as "tasteful," with subdued lighting that will have a minimal impact on the iconic space.

The tech company’s deal, which was approved by the MTA in June, included a $5 million payment to former tenant Metrazur to terminate its lease early, and a yearly rent of $800,000 in the first year. That amount would increase to $1.043 million in the last year of their 10-year deal, according to MTA documents.

The terminal is also set to welcome a new Shake Shack soon.