updated 11:03 am EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
Popular fountain would be removed under current Apple plans
San Francisco mayor Ed Lee says he will take a look at Apple's plans to build a new store at Union Square, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Earlier this week the paper aired criticisms about Apple's proposal, which would include the presence of a long, blank wall along Stockton Street, and the removal of a popular fountain. Prior to the Chronicle's story, city politicians had expressed their support for the store.
Now, though, Lee says he hadn't realized the fountain was slated to be removed. "We weren't necessarily focused on that side," the mayor is quoted as saying. "It wasn't part of our discussion." He adds that he needs to "take a look and visualize" how the fountain might or might not complement a raised narrow plaza Apple wants between its store and the Grand Hyatt. "We have to see whether it might fit in."
Regarding the long wall, Lee says that city officials objected to it during initial talks, and that Apple had been "very receptive" to criticism. Union Square is a pedestrian-focused shopping district, and a large blank wall might disrupt the intended experience in the area.
Apple's layout still needs to be reviewed by city planning and historic preservation commissions, which could see critics' demands take fruition. The company hasn't made any new comments on the proposal, and the Grand Hyatt -- which owns the property, and the fountain -- says that "it's too premature" to talk about whether there might be changes.