Construction begins on Midtown Manhattan Apple retail store

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Construction on Apple\'s second Manhattan retail store is now underway according to tips from reliable sources.

News of the construction efforts around General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue were also echoed in a NY Times article this morning. In the article, The Times also confirmed specifics of the exterior design of the location, including the Louvre-like glass cube, first detailed in an AppleInsider report last January.

\"By fall, a glass cube 32 by 32 by 32 feet will be set like a jumbo gemstone into the middle of the plaza of the General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue,\" said the major New York publication. \"From the outside, the cube will appear empty. But inside will be a circular glass stairway and a cylindrical elevator leading to a 25,000-square-foot underground space.\"

The transparent structure, made entirely of glass, will usher visitors to what is rumored to become Apple Computer\'s most elegant flagship retail store to date. Additionally, the plaza at the base of the GM building will be completely re-landscaped. Two pools will flank the cube, surrounded by movable chairs, tables, planters and a half-dozen honey locust trees, The Times said.

This latest news comes just weeks after sources reported that Apple had secured a lease for a third Manhattan retail store. Unlike its SoHo store and the one planned for the underground concourse of the GM building, Apple\'s third store will be much smaller — around 2,000 square feet.

According to Apple documents, the third retail store is destined for Manhattan\'s Flatiron district, near the Flatiron building at 22nd and Broadway. However, AppleInsider has been unable to rule out reports that the lease was actually inked for a location closer to Chelsea, at West 17th and 8th Ave.

Apple\'s initial retail plan for Manhattan called for three stores, AppleInsider believes. But a city with a population of over 8 million residents may demand at least one more. That\'s why the Mac maker is believed to be scouting yet another location in Manhattan\'s Upper West Side near 84th and Broadway. To date, there is no word on a lease signing for this location.