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Apple Seeks “Genius” For New Haven Store

by Gwyneth K. Shaw | Apr 26, 2011 9:00 am

(13) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Downtown

Gwyneth K. Shaw File PhotoApple has posted job listings for a store in New Haven, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

The postings on the company’s website include no information about the store’s location, although speculation has centered on a Broadway store (pictured) owned by Yale University Properties. Barnes & Noble, which runs the Yale campus bookstore, emptied half its space in February.

The Apple spokeswoman said she could confirm the job postings, but that the company has “made no announcement” about a New Haven store.

Apple’s jobs site lists New Haven as a location for a number of job titles, including “manager” and “genius.” While the store address isn’t specified, New Haven is listed under the heading “stores accepting applications.”

A Yale official referred all questions to Apple.

Gwyneth K. Shaw Photo The former bookstore space (pictured), which used to house Yale-themed apparel and gifts, is under construction. Posted on one of the windows facing Broadway is a permit issued April 15 to Shawmut Design and Construction. The permit is for an “overhead pedestrian scaffold to demolish and construct new building.” Another permit nearby gives the company permission to start work on relocating the entrance to the store.

In February, the Independent reported that representatives for Apple toured the site. City officials—and Mac enthusiasts—have long sought to bring a branch of the Apple empire to the Elm City.

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posted by: East Rockette on April 25, 2011  6:17pm

As an avid consumer of Apple products, I welcome this news.

But why on earth the need to demolish the current building? Is Apple that desperate to defend its recently awarded title of “Least Green Tech Company”? Sigh.

posted by: Tracey on April 25, 2011  7:23pm

Now I can buy one of those tracking devices known as an iPhone to put myself on self-imposed house-arrest.

posted by: William Kurtz on April 26, 2011  5:02am

Did I hear someone is hiring geniuses?  Finally.

posted by: pablo on April 26, 2011  8:21am

perfect fit with all the other over-priced urban stores appealing to self-described urban sophisticates (who go home to the suburbs at night to escape)

posted by: Locke on April 26, 2011  8:47am

First one to comment? The stereotypical “I’m-better-than-you-all-environmentalist-hack-greenie”. Welcome to New Haven Apple. Sigh indeed.

posted by: Pedro Soto on April 26, 2011  9:26am

Even if you are not an Apple fan, this is pretty huge news. For those not keeping track, this is Apple’s 4th store in the state, with the other 3 in FAR wealthier areas (Greenwich, West Hartford and Danbury).

Apple Stores tend to not be trailblazers, but followers, in that they generally show up once a mall or shopping district has the right demographics. For them to show up in New Haven is a titanic positive bet for this area and will almost certainly help attract more national retail to the area.


If they want to pour some gas on this, the city should find someone to develop the Broadway lot. 
Parking could be underground, and a mixed use development with more retail and housing and office up top would be the perfect fit for the area. 
Broadway could then be pedestrianized, making it an even more fantastic shopping district.

posted by: susie on April 26, 2011  11:17am

Sorry Steve, there’s only one Genius in town, and he already gets a fat paycheck selling snake oil out of 165 Church Street.

posted by: East Rockette on April 26, 2011  11:32am

Locke, are you serious? I’m an avid consumer of their less-than-green product. I’m just not thrilled about another demolition downtown, for no apparent good reason. Mess, waste, ugh. There’s plenty of square footage in that store that could be reasonably converted to Apple’s purpose. But whatevs.

Pedro, I like your style, and live in hope of a pedestrianized Broadway. Heck, let’s pedestrianize/bike-lane it all the way down Elm, so the Yale students can safely cross in the middle of the block the way they do anyway, and the rest of us can promenade down the grand steps of that gorgeous old library building and across to the green without running the gauntlet of four lanes of traffic.

posted by: anon on April 26, 2011  12:13pm

I agree with Pedro that Broadway could be developed and pedestrianized.  The corners with the gas station and UPS store would be great sites for mixed-use buildings of six to eight stories. Perhaps even New Haven’s version of the Flatiron building to complement the nearby churches and Yale structures.

If the city really wants to increase the value of the area and create new jobs, it should focus on making sure that the immediately surrounding streets—such as the area around Popeye’s, the UPS Store, and immediately surrounding few hundred feet along Dixwell, Goffe and Whalley—are not constantly covered with enormous piles of trash, papers, dime bags, and broken glass.

In its current state, this area is not currently pleasant to walk through, and in fact is even a place that people go very far out of their way to avoid.

Thinking ahead a bit further, it now seems that the way that the intersection at the western end of Broadway was reconfigured 20 years ago—from a roundabout to a series of worthless, trash-strewn islands surrounded by speeding vehicles—was a major mistake of urban planning.  This area should be converted to a modern roundabout, so that some of the wasteland areas that are currently used as intersections / islands can be reclaimed, similar to what has been done in areas like DuPont and Columbus Circles. 

More minor improvements that are needed include slower speeds, bicycle access, better bus stops, and safer crosswalks at York and Elm.  We need to design the area so that it is a pleasant place for families and people of all ages to spend time in, bike to, and stroll around, not just a place for able bodied adults from Yale or the suburbs who find it easy to cross multiple lanes of speeding cross-city traffic.

posted by: davec on April 26, 2011  12:36pm

Yale tore down a piece of the Eero Saarinen designed residential college to build the crappy, generic strip mall Barnes & Noble building.  I personally would love to see it torn down.  Without getting into the whole Apple as evil corporate overlord argument, Apple does have a history of building very beautiful spaces to house their stores.
THAT SAID, I seriously doubt Apple would spend the money to totally demolish and build anew.  They are probably renovating to give said ugly building a more polished Apple ‘look’.  Its called corporate branding.  It has to look like an Apple store.
About twenty years ago, the City and/or Yale poured a ton of $$ into turning Broadway into a new urbanist’s fantasia.  It never worked, it has remained a pedestrian’s nightmare, and now it is being left to rot.  Take a walk around there sometime.  The curbing and fake fountains are literally being left to disintegrate.  No doubt because there is no money left to maintain this fantasy. 
Time to try again with something a little more practical.
Hey kids, want to know what is helping to contribute to this country’s financial woes…?  Bad, expensive fake historicist architecture!  That’s right, modern architecture is patriotic.

posted by: Bruce on April 26, 2011  3:57pm

Apple Schmapple.  Overpriced toys.

posted by: cordalie on April 29, 2011  3:24pm

Does anyone remember when there was an Apple Store at 900 Chapel ST?

posted by: RK on May 1, 2011  2:23am

Pedro, yes - Stamford and Greenwich are much wealthier than New Haven, but Danbury? Not so much. And the New Haven area has similarly upper middle class enclaves as the upper Fairfield County area (Woodbridge, Orange, Milford, North Haven, etc). I’ve lived in both places and there is no great disparity of wealth. Plus, the Yale population has some pretty serious spending power, and that no doubt fueled Apple to set up shop there.

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