updated 03:25 pm EST, Thu December 29, 2011
No opening likely until late 2012
Officials in Madrid have approved renovations for the building where Apple will establish the city's third Apple Store, reports say. The city's deputy mayor, Manuel Cobo, has announced at a press conference that 1 Puerta del Sol will keep its exterior -- which dates back to the 1860s -- while making some important technical improvements. "It is one more link in the process of downtown revitalization, which will contribute to increasing commercial and tourist attractions of Madrid," Cobo is quoted as saying in translation.
The approval is still subject to a month of public commentary, but should become final thereafter. Apple has been pursuing the Puerta del Sol location for some time; rumors first started circulating in 2010, and started solidifying toward the beginning of 2011. Despite all of this, a grand opening is not anticipated until at fall 2012.
Apple has a very limited retail presence in Spain. The company has only five stores in the country, two of which are already in the Madrid area. The others can be found in Barcelona, Marbella, and Valencia.