Real Estate

Apple's Plan to Build Giant New Lincoln Road Store Hits Snag

Apple might be one of the most powerful companies in the world, but it's no match for the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board.

Apple already has quaint little digs at 720 Lincoln Rd. but plans to move farther up the pedestrian mall to a location currently occupied only by the Gap at 1001 Lincoln Rd. Plans call for demolition of the single-story Gap store and the construction of a new three-story space more in line with the stark architecture of other urban Apple stores. The new buildings would house both the Gap and Apple. But the preservation board has serious reservations about the idea.

The building that houses the Gap is not considered especially historical and has undergone numerous renovations over the years, but the board thinks the current structure complements and contributes to the aesthetic of Lincoln Road and Michigan Avenue. That, however, doesn't mean the board will stand in the way of seeing it demolished and replaced with a new structure.

In fact, in an analysis, the board finds the plans for the new Apple and Gap building "quite intriguing" but has "serious concerns" about specific design elements.

Plans for the Apple store would be very similar to Apple's Upper West Side location in Manhattan, featuring a glass storefront with a slightly arched roof. Though the scale would be more in line with the rest of Lincoln Road, and the building would incorporate limestone walls. The board finds the design uniquely Apple but also finds it reminiscent of historic automobile showcases that once dotted Lincoln Road. The new Gap store would sit next door and be in scale with the Apple store. However, the Apple store would be one level with high ceilings, and the Gap space would be three levels.

The problem is that the board doesn't think the Apple store has enough windows or interesting features along the side that faces Michigan Avenue. It also thinks the north-facing wall in the back needs more windows to break up what would otherwise be a giant façade of limestone.

Architects informed the board that more windows on Michigan Avenue might not be possible under the current design. So the board basically suggested, "Well, try your best, and if it doesn't work, scratch it and try something new, thanks." We don't think (and, yes, you knew this joke was coming, sorry) there's an app for that.

Read the board's analysis of the proposed plan here.

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Kyle Munzenrieder