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Monday, December 19, 2005, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple plans new retail store opposite the Empire State Building

"Apple Computers has found itself a third Manhattan pod with a new lease opposite the Empire State Building at 21 W. 34th St.," reports the New York Post.

The Mac and iPod maker reportedly net-leased the entire, 30,000-foot five-story building from Jeff Sutton of Wharton Realty and his partner, SL Green Realty Trust.

Apple's lease signing on West 34th street comes just months after the company ditched plans to open a two-story retail store in Manhattan's Flatiron district.

There, Apple was reportedly met with opposition from a local community board over its retail design proposal, which aimed to transform the historic 136 Fifth Avenue location into a glass enclosed two-story Apple retail store.

Next spring Apple will also unveil a 20,000-square-foot retail store in the underground concourse of the General Motors building near Midtown.

The Midtown Apple store will be topped by a giant $9 million 32-foot hollow glass cube that was personally designed by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.