New Apple Store to open along Chicago River on Oct. 20

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Apple senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts announces the Chicago riverfront Apple Store will open on Oct. 20, during a Tuesday press conference unveiling the latest iPhone. | Image courtesy of Apple

Chicago’s new flagship Apple Store will open along the Chicago River on Oct. 20, Apple executives announced during Tuesday’s unveiling of the latest iPhone model.

Apple broke ground on the 20,000-square-foot store at 401 N. Michigan Ave. in early 2016.

It features a 14-foot-high glass box entrance on the southern portion of Pioneer Court, with a grand staircase leading down to the riverfront retail space, which is topped by a metallic roof resembling the tech giant’s MacBook computer.

“Our team has designed a spectacular pavilion that seamlessly connects the plaza to the promenade as a part of the city’s plan to transform the Chicago riverfront,” Apple senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts Ahrendts said at Tuesday’s press conference.

Chicago’s new flagship Apple Store includes a glass-box entrance on Pioneer Court with a staircase leading down to the riverfront. | Image courtesy of Apple

Chicago’s new flagship Apple Store includes a glass-box entrance on Pioneer Court with a staircase leading down to the riverfront. | Image courtesy of Apple

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The location will replace the current flagship store at 679 N. Michigan Ave., which Apple says has drawn more than 23 million customers since opening in 2003.

The space Apple is taking over had most recently been used as a food court.

“This is an innovative design,” Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said when it was introduced in 2015. “It fits well in this location. It will go a long way toward extending the retail and shopping march south to the river and likely south of the river, which is good for the Mag Mile and those three blocks between Wacker Drive and Randolph Street.”

Original plans for the store had included a large video screen facing the river, but that was removed from blueprints to fall in line with the city’s riverfront design guidelines.

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