In May 2013, TUAW reported that Apple has proposed moving its San Francisco store on the corner of Stockton and Ellis streets to the Union Square retail area; two blocks away. The proposed move is not without its problems. First, there's the fountain that Apple has proposed to move and second, the city is not thrilled with the new store's proposed design.
Eric Slivka from MacRumors has posted a detailed account of some of the problems associated with Apple's proposed design of its new store. It seems the San Francisco Planning Department, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle [registration required], wants less glass facing Post Street and less metal facing Stockton. In addition, the city wants to keep the popular sculpture by artist Ruth Asawa that resides behind the store's proposed location.
In reviewing the June 24th Preliminary Project Assessment [PDF], it seems that the store move will probably take longer than first thought to complete. It may be of no surprise to those of you who have experience in building and zoning requests, but as a neophyte in this arena, I found the number of required studies before the building can be approved a bit daunting. Among the required studies Apple must complete before the project can be approved are an Archeological Review, Historical Resource study, Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas Compliance Checklist, Transportation Impact, Compliance with Stormwater Management Ordinance, and Tree Disclosure Affidavit. I found the report rather interesting.
The Preliminary Project Assessment sums up the issues on page 10 by noting that, "The challenge of this site is arriving at a design that must serve several objectives equally: first, it must respond to the desired identity of the heart of San Francisco as defined in the Downtown Plan and the Urban Design Element of the City's General Plan, and the KMMS Conservation District, while also answering to the desired identity of Apple Inc. In other words, it must be an integral part of San Francisco's historic Union Square district and Apple both at the same time."
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May 15, 2013 - Apple to re-locate flagship store in San Francisco