Apple to open global flagship store in D.C.

New life for the old Carnegie Library on K Street.

The Washington Business Journal has the scoop:

The District’s convention and sports authority has reached an agreement with tech giant Apple to open a global flagship store at the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square.

Apple, which has been in discussions with Events D.C. for several months, will renovate the 113-year-old building across the street from the Washington Convention Center. The Events D.C. board is expected to approve a letter of intent at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

Lease terms have to be finalized, but Events D.C. is proposing a 10-year term with two five year-extensions, said a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Apple will pay market rent and will give Events D.C. a payment of between $1 million and $2 million to offset any losses at the building at 801 K St. NW.

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The underutilized site, eight blocks from the White House, should pay for itself—even after a high-end Foster + Partners renovation. It’s a retail strategy Apple has successfully pursued in a half-dozen European cities. See my 2014 Grand Tour of the Retail Palaces of Europe.

3 Comments

  1. Tom Wyrick said:

    In addition to the Store, I believe Apple should lease an extra 25,000+ square feet in that classy building and create a Smithsonian-like museum for personal and mobile computing. A person armed with a computer makes all the difference in the world. Over at the Smithsonian, personal and mobile computers are presented as alternative versions of “technology.”

    Apple should be magnanimous in creating the museum, inviting relevant partners and competitors alike to contribute their own displays and presentations. One section should be devoted to likely innovations in personal computing over the upcoming decade, such as AI, AR and VR. The museum should have a large room for hosting special events and presentations.

    The cost of setting up a museum and revenues generated by ticket sales should be of secondary concern. The Apple Store would benefit from far more foot traffic, and Apple would gain goodwill throughout official Washington. Currently, Apple has a very small footprint in DC and very little influence over policy, yet seems reluctant to play the political game by throwing money at politicians. Class over crass is the Apple Way.

    2
    December 8, 2016
    • Richard Wanderman said:

      That’s a brilliant idea. Maybe take over more of the building and have a theater as well with documentaries about the history of digital technology (rather than having them in loops in a walk through museum) as well as presenters.

      0
      December 9, 2016

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