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Apple Store demands result in overhauled Chicago plaza

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010

Outlet includes unusual outdoor gathering area

The construction of the Lincoln Park Apple Store, opening tomorrow, has resulted in some major changes to its surrounding area, the Chicago Tribune writes. Apple paid about $3.9 million to help refurbish the nearby North/Clybourn transit station, which the Tribune claims was "so dingy" that Red Line riders would deliberately get off at a nearby stop to avoid it. The station is close to the poor Cabrini-Green housing project, which is undergoing a demolition and relocation program.

The inside of the station has only received cleaning and painting, but the outside is now said to have new bricks and windows, borrowing partly from 1940s aesthetics. An accompanying plaza has also been overhauled, and should effectively serve as an extension of the Apple Store thanks to tables, benches, chairs, a fountain and Wi-Fi access. To that end Apple has actually constructed a third store entrance, directly facing both the plaza and the transit station. The outlet also sports a main entrance, and an alternate one dedicated exclusively to workshop or One to One visitors.

The Tribune reports that the refurbishing money has come at the cost of Apple advertising, which now dominates North/Clybourn stop to the exclusion of all other marketers. Apple has in fact stated interest in rebranding the facility as the "Apple Red Line" station, and the Chicago Transit Authority has granted the company right of first refusal if and when it agrees to sell out naming rights for infrastructure.

Ron Johnson, Apple's senior VP for retail, meanwhile notes that in a first, all product purchases at the store will qualify for personal setup at a hub located in the center of the building. Tasks as mundane as configuring an iTunes or e-mail account can be handled by a specialist. If a person wants to, they can still unbox a product on their own.







[Photos courtesy of Chicago Now]


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By Electronista Staff
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  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    Dingy?

    People don't avoid a station just because it's dirty. They avoid stations because of the fear of getting mugged and robbed or worse. I don't believe a coat of paint necessarily makes a whole lot of difference. Weird location for an AppleStore!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +6

    Ummm....

    Shouldn't that headline read "Apple pays for community improvements around Apple Store"?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -8

    Branding

    Apple has in fact stated interest in rebranding the facility as the "Apple Red Line" station

    Yes, Apple's getting into the branding business. Next up, Apple Stadium, Apple Arena, the Apple and Delaware Memorial Bridge, etc, etc, etc.

    But why the Apple Red Line station. Why not just the Apple Station? Or the Apple Lincoln Park station? "Red line" is so boring.

    Tasks as mundane as configuring an iTunes or e-mail account can be handled by a specialist.

    There's something wrong with the naming system if 'specialists' handle mundane jobs. Aren't specialists there to handle special or odd jobs?

    If a person wants to, they can still unbox a product on their own.

    Well, isn't that nice of them.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Look!

    There's already a line out front!

  1. rbodgers

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2010

    +5

    @Feathers

    You're absolutely right about why people avoid places like that. But a coat of paint, some new bricks and windows, and a clean floor go a LOT further than you think. NYC is famous for their massive transformation in the 1980's and 1990's, largely by cleaning the subway system. It's a REALLY big deal, sometimes.

    http://www.city-journal.org/2009/nytom_ny-crime-decline.html

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    +3

    Very nice!

    And for those grousing about how aesthetic improvements don't make transit stations more popular, just know you're wrong.

    - A

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