Apple at Work on ‘Prototype' Store

Apple is at work building what it calls a new "prototype" store in downtown Palo Alto, reports said today.

The City of Palo Alto issued a building permit last week for the $3.15 million two-story building, which will be the company's ninth retail outlet in Northern California, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Documents filed earlier this year for the $3.15 million project described the store as a "new prototype" and a "commons for (Apple's) community to gather." Architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which has won numerous awards for its work on other Apple stores, is listed as the project applicant.
The plans for the store show a glass roof and facade to allow natural light into the 15,030-square-foot store, along with stone and steel additions to the design. 
Apple applied to raze the old building that now occupies the 9,250-square-foot lot, according to Yvette Sheets-Saucedo, a LEED accredited professional with the Palo Alto Development Center, and construction crews just completed a pedestrian bypass tunnel in front of the Apple site.
So how is the store going to be a prototype? Apple is quiet on that issue, giving the Merc little information. But we found the idea of building a commons for community gathering very interesting at a retail location -- could this be for training or testing?
Apple stores are profitable, including each employee bringing in $278 per hour, but what could possibly make them better? Perhaps it might be something like Openspace and its apps storefront, where Apple could highlight different iOS apps. Either way, judging by past performance, the store will likely be a hit.
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