updated 09:55 am EST, Tue December 6, 2011
Outlet may be ready in January
A new Houston Apple Store, still under construction, borrows the design of Apple's Upper West Side shop in New York City, reports indicate. The Highland Village outlet likewise sports an all-glass storefront and roof, flanked by limestone side walls. Distinguishing the new location is the addition of a glass rear, and the shifting of back-of-house space to a nearby building, rather than a basement.
Highland Village is situated on the west side of Houston, and is playing host to the city's fourth Apple Store. The outlet could be ready by January, making it one of the few exceptions to Apple's policy of grouping retail launches ahead of Black Friday in November. Two other stores under construction are also copying the Upper West Side design; these include the new Palo Alto shop in northern California, and the Third Street Promenade site in the southern half of the state.
Both of these will be smaller than their parent. Apple owns a patent on the Upper West Side design, which suggests that the company has long expected the architecture to be iconic. It has increased the use of glass as rule, making it prominent in any street-level location not tied to historic structures.