Apple’s underground flagship store on Fifth Avenue is back — and it’s more than twice the size it used to be.
After a two-and-a-half-year renovation, Apple’s most profitable shop is slated to re-open on Friday at 8 a.m., just in time for the launch of the new iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro.
Apple has more than doubled its original 32,000-square-foot space to more than 77,000 square feet, according to MacRumors. The extra space will be used partly by the company’s “Today at Apple” program, which hosts free sessions to teach skills like photography and coding.
To cut back on the store’s basement-like feel, the roof of the subterranean retail space is now pocked with 62 frosted glass skylights. They’re embedded in the street-level Fifth Avenue outdoor plaza in front of the landmark GM Building.
The skylights are ringed by LED lights which change their hue throughout the day. The LEDs are meant to match “the real-time tones of sunlight throughout the day,” according to Apple.
Indeed, the basement store now gets so much light that six massive Green Gem Ficuses are potted inside, with their tops nearly scraping the store’s ceiling.
Apple has also built two new entrances to the store on either side of the plaza to help prevent bottlenecking at its iconic glass entrance.
Earlier this month, the company unveiled a revamped, rainbow-colored version of the iconic 32-foot glass cube that marks the entrance to the store — a sleek structure whose design was meticulously overseen by founder Steve Jobs.
The store — which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — was a major tourist destination in New York from its opening in 2006 until it closed for renovations in January 2017.
It was originally aimed to reopen last year, and Apple never gave a reason for the holdup.