Landlord of Apple's New Flagship Chicago Store Puts it Up for Sale

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Chicago landlord that owns the building where Apple's new flagship Michigan Avenue Store is located has put it up for sale, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Walton Street Capital purchased the 20,000-square-foot Apple Store, a 35-story office building, and a retail building next door for $370 million in 2017, and is now planning to sell the store and 10,000 square feet of retail space for $175 million while holding on to the office building.


    Demand for retail space is declining due to the decreasing value of malls and shopping centers as consumers turn to online shopping, but according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple Stores are the "gold standard in the retail world" because of the high foot traffic they attract to nearby locations.
    When the Apple Store sells to a new buyer, Apple doesn't have to worry about rent. Apple is well aware that its stores attract a high number of customers and it uses that as leverage to get lower rent rates. Apple is paying rent that's "well below" the average $400 to $500 charged per square foot for nearby Michigan Avenue retail space.

    Apple's Michigan Avenue store is located right alongside the Chicago River, and its construction was an ambitious project for the company. It includes 32-foot glass facades and an enormous 111-by-98 foot carbon fiber roof. Like most of Apple's modern stores, it includes indoor trees, a dedicated seating area for Today at Apple sessions, a Genius Grove for getting help with products, and an area where customers can view and try Apple devices and related accesories.

    Designed by longtime partner Foster + Partners, the store is meant to pay homage to Chicago's iconic Prairie Style homes designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Article Link: Landlord of Apple's New Flagship Chicago Store Puts it Up for Sale
  2. gaximus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2011
  3. GrumpyMom macrumors 603


    Sep 11, 2014
    Okay time to rummage around in the sofa cushions and see what I can come up with.
  4. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    Gainesville, Fl
    Wondered why he wanted to sell? I guess he can retire earlier than expected.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You are asking why Apple does not invest in real estate. Because Apple can get a better return of it's money by investing product development.
  6. LordCoe13 macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    But you are missing a key element. Apple wants that empty space surrounding their store. They do not want another store to be on the plaza with them. The same way that they buy kiosk spaces outside their stores in malls (Northbrook Court in Northbrook, IL for example). They like the open layout without obstructions.
  7. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

    Oct 2, 2013
    $400-$500 per sf average retail space rent in that area!!! Holy $#!7, no wonder retail is losing ground to the internet.
  8. grobik macrumors member


    Mar 4, 2006
    Cost. Why spend $175 million plus taxes, maintenance, fees etc. When someone else can do that and they pay less than half of retail rent per square foot? And when all is said and done and they decide to leave the space they just move out. The owner still has to find someone else to rent a weird shaped building.
  9. csurfr macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Didn’t Apple say when their lease was up in New York that they were taking the glass cube with them? In this case you better believe that MacBook Air roof won’t stay when they go.
  10. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    I can pitch in a few bucks. But if you don't want me to have majority control, I could always scale back my investment a bit.
  11. venusboy macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
  12. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    You might be right, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if the plaza are were zoned for no development since it is a prime access point to the river. In fact, I would guess that Apple got a special exception since its store design incorporates staircases (both enclosed and non-enclosed); this isn’t something another plaza-based retailer could do.
  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    If Apple's rent is "well below $400 / sq ft", then that means Apple is paying less than $8M per... year?

    So if it's being sold for $175M, maybe Apple is paying little enough that they'd rather hold onto that money and invest it elsewhere?
  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Well I think you might be missing the point because IF Apple wanted it it wouldn't be for sale now. Apple gets sweetheart rent deals like this by using itself as bait. It understand other stores will be coming. And those store locations were known when Apple came to the site because they were marked in the site plan. A developer can't willy nilly put a store anywhere it likes. Also very likely Apple has a clause in it's lease which says it has to approve any site plan changes which could affect the store. Apple is no dummy when they sign leases. It protects itself solidly.
  15. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    "Apple is well aware that its stores attract a high number of customers and it uses that as leverage to get lower rent rates."

    I can understand this logic in an interior mall location, but for a standalone Apple site - higher foot traffic into Apple stores will mean higher revenue for Apple. What is the landlord getting out of all this foot traffic? If anything, the landlord faces higher wear and usage charges maintaining the landscaping, flooring, restrooms and facilities. So shouldn't the landlord charge higher rents?
  16. chucker23n1 macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2014
    This puzzles me as well.
  17. Contact_Feanor macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2017
    710$ and 630$ per square foot; per what time unit? Is that per day? Per hour? Per week? It seems we're missing some info here :)
  18. Superhai macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2010
    Usually they own the neighboring locations as well, and are able to attract higher rent as they know there is high activity there. So it is smaller establishments who subsidies Apple in the expectation that they will get higher sales.

Share This Page