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Special Report: Third Manhattan Apple store to dwarf them all

New information confirmed about Apple Inc.'s third flagship outlet in the city not only pinpoints the store's coveted location in a fashionable district — it shows the electronics maker at its most ambitious with a shop that promises to eclipse the size of all other Apple Stores in the region.

Confirming AppleInsider's preliminary investigations, a New York Post journalist has found that Apple will indeed rent out a high-profile space at 401 W. 14th Street, a recently upscaled building at the heart of the Meatpacking district.

The company will tap brokers R.K. Futterman & Associates and property owner Taconic Partners for a combined 32,000-square-foot slice of the 52,605-square-foot, three-story complex. Apple's share will extend up to the second floor and should consume all but a sliver of the space available on each level the firm will occupy, leaving the third and final level to penthouses, a terrace, and smaller third-party retailers or restaurants.

Apple's choice will also give it nearly all of the 125 feet of storefront visibility along 14th Street and an additional 108 feet along 9th Avenue, guaranteeing that it will stand out among other luxury goods dealers in the area such as Jeffrey, La Perla, and Stella McCartney.

More important, however, is the sheer scope of the proposed store in comparison with Apple's two existing Manhattan-area retail presences — if not the world. The space will easily outsize both the 21,577 square feet of Apple Store SoHo and the yet-larger 25,000 square feet of the subterranean Fifth Avenue location. Property allotted to the third store will be so large, in fact, that its showrooms alone should dwarf the total area given to either of the present-day Apple stores.

The current leader, London's just-expanded Regent Street store , should also have its 28,000 square feet edged out by the new midtown Manhattan offering.

The Meatpacking district store has a further record-setting potential as one of Apple's single most expensive properties to date. While news sources from the initial announcement have pegged the yearly rental per square foot on the ground floor at $300, new details suggest that this figure has climbed to $400 since the departure of earlier tenants. For reference, the SoHo store's overall cost per square foot was listed as just short of $95 in mid-2004.

Apple Store Meatpacking District

With these figures in mind, it quickly becomes evident that Apple is taking its greatest risk yet, betting that an expansive boutique at one of the premier intersections in New York City will only serve to accelerate the breakneck pace of the company's growth in recent months.