Plans are at an advanced stage for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to open a flagship store in Milan. The store will be located below the Liberty Square (Piazza del Liberty) at a site that Apollo Spazio Cinema is currently occupying. As one of the most densely populated places in Italy, sources say that Apple has been scouting for a location in this area for a long time. Milan’s planning department approved the preliminary guidelines in December 2016.
Store to be highly innovative and technologically advanced
The Milan flagship store is slated to be highly innovative and also one of the most technologically advanced in the globe. It will have an amphitheater whose purpose is to host about eight culturally significant public events every year. This was part of the conditions that Apple had to agree to fulfill in order to be granted permission to build the store at such a historically and culturally significant location.
“It is an ambitious project and a truly international reach to deliver a new place in the city for the Milanese and visitors,” a counsel for Milan city said.
The entry to the retail store will be a glass waterfall. There will also be water bowls anchoring the amphitheater on one end.
Foster and Partners to develop store
Apple has contracted Foster and Partners to develop the retail store. The architectural firm has previously collaborated with Apple in developing a couple of retail stores all over the world. Apple’s Campus 2 headquarters is also being developed by Foster and Partners.
Besides the cost of architectural, design and construction work, Apple will pay the city a one-time fee of a little over $800,000. This will be to cater for expenses incurred by the city in making renovations to the location. Apple will also be incurring an annual fee in the range of about $130,000.
There is no information available on when Apple will break ground for the upcoming Milan store. Currently, Apple is operating out of a store housed at the Fiordaliso Mall.
Shares of Apple Inc edged downwards by 0.42% in Thursday’s trading session to close the day at $119.25 a piece.