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Developer in talks with Apple about retail store in Queens

updated 01:20 am EST, Wed January 18, 2012

Would be second NYC store outside Manhattan

The New York Daily News is reporting that Heskel Group Chairman Yeheskel Elias is in "preliminary talks" with Apple about a store in the Queens section of New York City after a broker from Apple reached out several months ago. The developer, who is quoted as saying he will "do anything I can to bring Apple in," may have sabotaged the deal by speaking of it with the press. Apple generally requires participants to stay mum about future stores.

If true, a store in the Queens borough would be only the second New York City store outside Manhattan, where Apple has five stores. A Staten Island store opened in 2005. It is noteworthy that the Heskel Group manages several properties along Austin Street in the Forest Hills neighborhood in Queens, which includes other name-brand retailers such as Gap, Staples and a Disney Store. In the article, Elias says that Queens "has to have" an Apple Store, saying that the store could "become a retail center for customers [so] that [they] don't have to go all the way to Manhattan or Long Island to enjoy the Apple experience."

The company does have "store within a store" setups and most of the area Best Buys, and Target is said to be adding Apple display areas in 25 of its stores in New York City, but a spokesman for the Queens Economic Development Corporation is quoted in the article as saying that Queens "is a lucrative market that deserves attention" and that the presence of an Apple Store would boost the borough's image. Were a deal to be struck soon, a store could be open by the end of the year. Elias gave no specifics about where Apple might be scouting for locations.

Apple spokesperson Michaela Wilkinson said only that the company has "made no announcements" about stores outside Manhattan. Rumors of a Bronx or Brooklyn store have circulated for years but thus far no plans for one have materialized.

by MacNN Staff





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