Apple is gearing up to open its first store in Brooklyn, help-wanted ads reveal. The likely location, at 247 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, which has been in the works since 2014, was tightly under wraps when Brownstoner stopped by this morning.
Another Apple store is rumored to be in the works near Atlantic and Flatbush, close to Downtown Brooklyn.
From afar, there is little sign the space at 247 Bedford Avenue may be almost complete. Scaffolding is still up, as it has been for years. However, a close inspection revealed unusual secrecy, in the form of two layers of construction fences carefully designed to conceal what is going on underneath.
A Brownstoner reporter was immediately shooed away by a construction worker in a hard hat who appeared to be on his lunch break when she attempted to look in through an open door in the construction fence at the main entrance on Bedford.
Around the corner, a back service door open for deliveries revealed the store’s back hallway, where the walls were finished, although not yet primed and painted — indicating the interior of the building is close to done.
Developers RedSky Capital and Waterbridge Capital, who bought the building for $66,000,000 in 2012, have never denied or confirmed that Apple leased this corner space. Apple signed a lease for the 20,000 square foot store in 2014, according to a New York Post story in December of that year.
In 2015, a “for rent” sign went up on the corner construction site, leading one Brownstoner reader to wonder if the deal with Apple had fallen through. Recently, a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed to Brownstoner Apple is the tenant.
Another Apple store could be in the works in or near Downtown Brooklyn. As it happens, RedSky purchased 182 Flatbush Avenue, the former home of Triangle Sports, for $4.1 million in 2012, as we reported at the time. The 4,791-square-foot building is currently vacant and could potentially be the site of another Apple store.
However, when Brownstoner stopped by this morning, there was no sign of any recent activity there. A few containers of paint and joint compound and a few other odds and ends, including a washing machine, were visible through the windows on the ground floor.
The listing agents and Apple were not immediately available for comment.
The retail mix in Williamsburg has changed significantly since Apple signed on. Across the street, Brooklyn’s second Whole Foods will arrive any day now, where a Citibank and Equinox are also opening. In the same building, Levi’s, co-working space WeWork, and other clothing boutiques are already open.
Trader Joe’s signed a lease for a space at 206 Kent Avenue, an empty lot, three blocks away in 2015.
The most prime retail spot in the borough, at 176 Bedford Avenue, at the corner of North 7th, is a stalled construction site. Formerly home to a Salvation Army store, the building was demolished in 2013. Thor Equities reportedly bought it from the charity, but there has been no sign of construction there for years. Long ago, it was rumored Apple would open a store there.
Major retailers such as Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, American Apparel, Gant, and Urban Outfitters now have stores in the neighborhood.
The Apple opening culminates years of rumors and hope Apple would be moving to Brooklyn, and shows the new stature of the borough.
— Additional reporting by Hannah Frishberg
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