After weeks of mystery and a teeny bit of controversy, the Apple pulled back the curtain at their new Grand Central flagship store on Wednesday morning revealing glowing logos embedded into a sparkly marble façade. While the store officially opens on Friday, a few lucky tech reporters took a tour and tweeted some snapshots. Your humble Atlantic Wire blogger is not having a lucky week -- perhaps because we did so much snooping during the top secret construction phase -- but we did collect the best snapshots of the world's largest Apple Store.
Like all the stores before it, the journey into the Grand Central flagship begins with a bold Apple logo. Courtesy of Spanish journalist Antonio Cazorla:
The red-shirted employees stood sentinel as reporters filed up the stairway on the eastern side of Grand Central's Main Concourse. According to the below photo from The New York Observer's Adrianne Jeffers, the East Balcony is Macbook-land, and on the lefthand side of the shot, you can see how the sales floor wraps around the perimeter of the concourse.
Jenna Wortham from The New York Times offers a glimpse from the other side via Instagram:
It looks largely the same from the other side of the balcony, where they keep the iPads, another one of Wortham's Instagram uploads. It kind of resembles a fancy college library.
At $180 per square foot, Apple's paying just under Grand Central's top rent price of $200 per square foot. Over the course of the ten year lease, the 23,000 square foot space will bring in $1.1 million in annual rent for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, though it made an exception in not requiring Apple to also fork over a percentage of the store's expected $100 million in annual sales. The New York Post made a stink about this last week claiming that the New York State Comptroller had launched a probe into the shady lease terms, however the state told The Atlantic Wire that the Post's use of the word "investigation" exaggerated the severity of the situation. Regardless, there's no stopping Apple now. The store expects to lure in a solid sampling of the 750,000 or so people that travel through Grand Central on a daily basis, and from what we're seeing so far of the fancy interior, those travelers will be well taken care of in Apple's latest palace of consumerism. And what a palace it is.
In tweeting the photo above, Tom Stoelker described the store as the "perfect spot to learn how to use new 4S." Reuters photographer Mike Segar decided to take the fisheye lens approach.
And of course, the obligatory over-sized dangling Apple logo.