There has been talk for a goodly while about Apple’s intentions regarding the development on the site of the World Trade Centre in New York. Now a couple of reports seem to confirm that the Cupertino-based tech giant will indeed be one of the ground-floor tenants, when the massive shopping mall opens next year. The New York Post has reported that a lease has been signed and Apple will join the likes of Canali, Hugo Boss and Mont Blanc as early residents of the space.
Meanwhile, the New York real estate news site TheRealDeal has offered some extra information, explaining that Apple was purportedly unhappy with the design, making it clear that it was “frustrated by the giant ribs or columns that [architect Santiago] Calatrava included throughout the underground portion of the site”.
And Apple was not alone, according to the source, with the arching structures spaced roughly three-and-a-half metres apart and potentially disrupting any possible signage plans for affected retailers.
It has been suggested that Apple attempted to have the design altered, but on drawing a blank, decided to go ahead and sign the lease anyway.
“Do you think [fashion designer] Karl Lagerfeld will be OK with playing second fiddle to an architect?” another retail insider told TheRealDeal. “It is all about clashing egos. Those brands [that object to the columns] are not going to open a flagship downtown and have Santiago Calatrava’s ribs obstructing the view.”
Apple is due to take a prime position in the mall – right in the centre of the lower level, if TheRealDeal’s graphics are correct. Its neighbours will be global brands like Disney, Swarovski, Victoria’s Secret and Hugo Boss.
The entire development will have room for 160 shops, while the rest of the space will be taken up by offices, food outlets/restaurants and transportation hubs. Though if the latter look anything like the ones in the video, we will be extremely surprised. Video? Oh yes, Westfield has made a five-minute concept film about its proposals for the development. And it has to be seen to be believed.
Can you say hyperbole? Actually, can you even pronounce it? The word is renowned for being one that trips up many people, including our former leader, Julia Gillard. But if you’re confident in its usage, you may want to attach it to this aforementioned film clip.
“We are at the beginning of something larger than ourselves,” intones the feminine, but faintly robotic tones. ”Something that could only take place at the world’s centre: New York. Where sacred ground was born from epic tragedy, and where a force of beauty mankind has never known will rise above the ashes.”
Yes, 9/11 was indeed an epic tragedy for all concerned, but this is a shopping centre, for goodness sake. Telling us “this historic merging of power will forever change the human experience” and tossing in a few dramatic stills of Steve Jobs, Albert Einsten, Nelson Mandel, Jane Goodall and the like doesn’t alter that fundamental fact. Not a jot.