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New North/Clybourn Apple Store Set To Open

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CHICAGO (CBS) - The new Apple Store at North and Clybourn avenues is set to open next weekend.

The Apple Store at 801 W. North Ave. will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. It will occupy the former site of a BP gas station, on a triangle of land bounded by North Avenue, Clybourn Avenue and Halsted Street.

Apple is under a 10-year lease from the 9,000 square-foot store, and has options to extend the lease for another 20 years, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. The base rent for the store is $725,000 a year for the coming decade, sources told Crain’s.

Previously, there had been talk about opening an Apple store at the Block 37 mall downtown. But last year, a developer told Crain’s that Apple likely chose Lincoln Park over the Loop because State Street shoppers tend to be from a “slightly lower socio-economic group.”

Presently, Apple has only one Chicago retail store, at 679 N. Michigan Ave. on the Magnificent Mile, and suburban locations at the Deer Park Town Center, Main Place in Naperville, Northbrook Court, Oakbrook Center, Orland Square, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, and Old Orchard Mall in Skokie.

The North and Clybourn location that the Apple Store has picked has been a trendy part of the city’s Near North Side for several years, surrounded by an assortment of high-end clothing, jewelry and housewares retailers, fashionable restaurants including Grant Achatz’ famous Alinea at 1723 N. Halsted St., and the Weed Street nightclub district.

But this has not always been true. As recently as two decades ago, the area was struggling with poverty and crime that had spread from the nearby Cabrini-Green public housing development.

Back in 1981 when developers built the New City YMCA, which stood on Halsted Street less than a block from the proposed Apple Store, they constructed the building with few windows for fear that gang crossfire might shatter them. The New City YMCA was demolished three years ago, and today, the area is usually considered more a part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Reports last year also indicated that Apple might also get the naming rights to the nearby North/Clybourn Red Line subway stop in exchange for refurbishing the station.

There has also been talk of an Apple store as a possible tenant in a controversial planned new hotel and retail complex along Clark Street in Wrigleyville, which will clear away several popular bars and restaurants in favor of tenants that may also include a CVS drugstore and a Best Buy.