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Apple cans plans for Portland retail store

For the second time in less than a year, Apple Computer has canceled plans for a new retail store after opposition from a local landmarks preservation group.

According to a report in Daily Journal of Commerce (summarized at ifoAppleStore), Apple has decided not to pursue a new retail store at 437 N.W. 23rd Ave. in downtown Portland, Ore. after the city's landmarks commission gave the company the runaround on its design proposals.

Apple's original plans called for the existing two-story building to be razed and replaced by a double-height, single-story Apple retail store that would be adorned with glass, stainless steel and a back-lit Apple logo.

The iPod maker and its development partner Holst Architecture presented their design to the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission in early February, but were met with considerable opposition.

Specifically, the commission took issues with Apple's "articulation of [...] materials" and said that "less or no stainless steel/metal cladding would be more appropriate."

Apple and Holst returned before the commission in mid-June with a revised store design that replaced the stainless steel with limestone and more windows. However, the two-hour hearing ended without a vote and with the a commission chairmen calling the updated design "franchise architecture."

In a similar situation, Apple last September abandoned plans for a two-story retail store in Manhattan's Flatiron district after the Community Board for the Ladies Miles Historic District and the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission took issue with the proposed all-glass storefront.

Apple, which currently operates two flagship retail stores in Manhattan, eventually pressed forward with plans for a third store on the island, signing a new lease opposite the Empire State Building at 21 W. 34th Street.