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Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Apple to build elegant retail store in Manhattan\'s Midtown

Sometime this year Apple Computer is expected to begin renovation and construction efforts on its second New York City-based retail store, set to touch down in central Manhattan.

After months of searching for a feasible location in pricey Midtown, the company has reportedly settled on a lease for a massive retail space in the lower-level concourse of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue, between 58th and 59th Street.

The GM building, which rests atop an entire city block directly across the street from the Plaza Hotel, is also home to an FAO Schwarz toy store, which moved in fourteen years ago. The building is also just a few strides from the southern tip of Central Park.

Although it's very early in the development stages, sources say Apple will turn the 21,000-square-foot space into a retail store that will 'rival anything seen so far' from the company's retail division.

Specifics are lacking, but one source claims Apple will give the exterior of the store a look similar to the glass Pyramid found in the Louvre's cour Napoléon, only in cube form.

The cost of the venture is expected to be steep. Apple's existing New York-based flagship store, located in Manhattan's SoHo district, reportedly costs the company just over $2 million in rent each year, on top of an initial $5 million in renovation costs.

Insiders believe the GM retail location fetched over $3 million a year.