Apple Is Building on 34th, But Will It Set Up Shop?

Apple has applied for a building permit at 21 West 34th Street, listing plans for a two-story 19,000-square-foot retail structure on the site, owned by SL Green.

So will this be the next iStore?

Maybe, maybe not.

The retailer signed a lease with SL Green over a year ago, though in a conference call with investors last year, SL Green executive Andrew Mathias said that Apple is mandated to build something there by the lease, but it may sublease its space.

“We have had some conversations with Apple and they’re exploring their alternatives,” Mr. Mathias said, according to a transcript. “They have not made a formal decision yet either to go ahead and build their building or to sublease the space. They do have an obligation under the lease to build a brand-new building there.

When asked about the site and why a building permit application listed Apple as the developer, an Apple spokeswoman said that the company has not made any announcements at that location.

An SL Green spokesman, Rick Matthews, did not comment on Apple’s plans beyond the construction, but said SL Green is currently demolishing the site and developing two retail shops adjacent to the Apple parcel.

“Apple will build a store—SL Green will then build and develop the rest of the combined parcel,” Mr. Matthews said.

Apple Is Building on 34th, But Will It Set Up Shop?