Hey Apple! So the Old Georgetown Board hates your store designs. I have a suggestion to make your Georgetown problems go away.
Why even bother with Georgetown? The traffic is awful, there’s no parking, the sidewalks are too narrow, the shops are too pricy, Wisconsin and M Streets form one of the worst intersections for cars and pedestrians alike, the closest Metro station is all the way down at GWU, and even if the Metro were closer it’s just three or four stops to the nearest Apple Stores at Clarendon and Pentagon City.
Why put up with that just to add another dot close to two already-close-together dots on your DC-area retail map, all for a tiny store that doesn’t meet your signature design needs because the local historic architecture board hates glass storefronts?
Forget Georgetown. There’s a perfectly good, bright, shining location, aching for a new Apple Store just a few miles down the road: Union Station.
Think about it: Union Station is centrally located within Washington, but also distant enough from existing Apple Stores in Arlington or Bethesda to avoid market-saturating Apple Store clustering. It’s directly above a major station on the Red Line, and a crucial daily junction for thousands of rail commuters and travelers — many of whom would love to purchase a new iPod or MacBook or camera or other accessory for long trips and daily commutes. It’s right in the middle of several well-established and up-and-coming neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, NoMa, the H Street Corridor, NY Ave/Gallaudet/Brentwood, Penn Quarter, plus dozens of hotels in East End. Union Station is historic, iconic, grand, majestic, and positively bustling with activity. Plus, it’s within sight of the Capitol — a great PR position for Apple to extend its government presence.
And not only will Union Station tolerate an all-glass storefront, they absolutely require it! Every store in the station shopping mall has a glass storefront, to meet a minimum requirement on glass set by Union Station Venture II. No word on whether the new leaseholders at Ashkenazy Acquisitions will keep that stipulation, but hey, your neighbors will have all-glass storefronts, not bay windows and brick detailing like the row houses of Georgetown.
Surely a lease on some Union Station retail space is cheaper than an old lot under the stringent auspices of the Old Georgetown Board. Turnover on retail space at Union Station can be pretty high, so there’s always space, and I’d much rather see a new Apple Store there than a Swarovski, Art of Shaving, or Harley-Davidson shop.
What do you say, Steve Jobs? Union Station: great location, or greatest location? Who needs Georgetown? Not Apple! Go for the Station! Go!
(Full disclosure: I live near Union Station and want a Genius Bar near my apartment.)