updated 09:20 am EST, Mon February 4, 2008
Beijing Apple Store site
The exact location of Apple's first Chinese store has been uncovered, according to reports. Although it had been known for some time that the store would be built in Beijing, and would open prior to the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in August, it is only now that some of the final details have emerged. The store will be located on Qianmen Street, a road on the south side of Tiananmen Square that is undergoing a $40 million renovation in advance of the Olympics.
The street will have improved utilities, a repaved surface with green and white marble, and building facades restored to their original appearance from the 1920s and '30s. Additionally, the famous Opera House will be rebuilt, and tram service will be put back in place. Qianmen will otherwise remain a pedestrian-only commercial district, with some 300 shops for the likes of Adidas and Starbucks occupying over 800,000 square feet. Reopening is scheduled for May.
Crucially, architectural sources claim that Apple is making concessions in order to occupy its new space. With the goal of preserving the general appearance of the area, Apple is said to be abandoning its standard aesthetics in favor of cues from local Chinese architecture.