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Apple Store finally on its way to Rhode Island

Apple Computer has recently inked a lease that will deliver Rhode Island its first Apple retail store, AppleInsider has confirmed.

The lease was signed last month for a space in the Providence Place Mall in Providence, Rhode Island.

Located right of the I-95 Thruway, the $450 million, eight-story mall contains over 1 million square-feet of retail space, a 5,000-vehicle parking garage, a 16-theater movie complex, and a 750-seat food court.

Opening back in 1999, the mall was the most expensive downtown development project in Rhode Island history. It spans over the Woonasquatucket River and the Northeast Corridor Amtrak rail lines and is anchored by major retailers Filene's, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom.

According to sources, the ink on the Apple lease is so fresh that neither Apple nor the Providence Mall are absolutely sure which recently-vacated space the Apple store will eventually occupy. In fact, Apple is reportedly thrilled just to have finally secured a spot in the mall after a near two-year wait.

Currently, Apple is reported to have dibs on space #222 — the former K B Toys store located on the second level, directly across from Zales and The Gap. However, rumor has it that Apple may not hesitate to move to a more central, or possibly larger, location if presented with the opportunity.

There is no word on when Providence Mall Apple Store will be open for business, seeing as its location remains up in the air and construction has not begun. Still, sources say Apple hopes to launch the store in time for the holiday shopping season.

Sony, one of Apple's largest competitors in the digital music space, is also working to open one of its "Sony Style" stores in the mall this year. The electronics maker will likely beat Apple by several months.