Is an Expo-adjacent Apple Store bundled with transit incentives coming to Santa Monica?

New Apple Store Third Street Promenade

Curbed LA got the scoop yesterday and the news has spread across the tech blogs: it looks like Apple is planning on building a fancy new retail store on the Third Street Promenade – just one block away from the future Colorado/4th Expo Line Station.

It’s not confirmed, but an application to the Santa Monica Planning Commission for the parcel on 3rd Street near Santa Monica Boulevard (previously a Borders bookstore) appeared with renderings (above) that look unmistakably like an Apple Store.

In addition to the store’s proximity to the planned Expo station, here’s another clue that this Apple Store will be transit-oriented: the application mentions a $100/month transit subsidy and a $20/month bike subsidy for full time employees who get to work using transit alternatives.

The new store would only be two blocks from the current Apple Store on the Promenade, but that makes it two blocks closer to the future Expo Station. Apple has not been one to shy away from transit – in fact the company spent $4 million to renovate a Chicago subway station near one of their retail stores.

There are currently 10 Apple Stores in the L.A. area and the only one that’s accessible by rail is the store in Old Town Pasadena – it’s about four blocks from the Memorial Park Gold Line Station.

11 replies

  1. San Francisco survived the closing of the Embarcadero Freeway. There was all this gloom about the amount of traffic that was going to pile on the streets surrounding the freeway with its closure. It never materialized. Im not saying its the same case here but I have a feeling that with Expo in Colorado the inconvenienced car traffic will shift to other modes, such as bicycles and transit that intersection will not be as disastrous as our intuition my lead us to believe.

    Here is a video documenting the Embarcadero closure in SF

  2. And hence the gigantic problem with running at grade trains across Lincoln and 5th… Traffic at those intersections will still increase over the years even with all the expo ridership, they are going to find that grade separation will become necessary and that it should have been done from the get go. That’s not to say that expo won’t slow the growth of traffic, but the trains are still likely going to be delayed either because of a lack of signal preemption or gridlock or both (I really hope I am wrong on this).

    I recall there being plans originally to have an elevated station at 4th/Colorado when that alignment was chosen. I remember seeing concept renderings of it. Or it at least was an alternative on the table. Either way that would have been great since the immediate area is not strictly residential and therefore would not have caused so many NIMBY concerns. But I guess the city of SM didn’t want that and opted for less efficient rail operations.

  3. Oh, by all means, Santa Monica should close the 5th Street offramp. Anything that adds to backups on the Santa Monica Freeway should be accomplished. The People’s Republic has already succeeded in creating daylong backups from Cloverfield all the way to Western Avenue, and by closing 5th Street, I-10 will be backed up all the way to Blythe! And the collateral damage to the 405 will be tremendous a swell! Yay, team!

  4. They’d be better off locating at Lincoln and Colorado, since that is where all the Expo Line trains are going to going to be stuck unless the 5th Street off-ramp from I-10 is closed off permanently.

  5. Of course, any environmental benefit that store achieves by encouraging transit and bicycle use will be negated by the carbon footprint created by the air conditioning in that greenhouse.

  6. Any idea if Apple offers their employees at their current Promenade store the transit or bike subsidies? There are numerous bus lines that serve the area already–no need to wait for the Expo Line to reach Downtown Santa Monica!

  7. “here are currently 10 Apple Stores in the L.A. area and the only one that’s accessible by rail”

    Well you can take the Trolly at the Americana to the new apple store once you park your car.

  8. Considering this “Expo Line Extension” is not even going to GET to Santa Monica till 2015, its a bit presumptious of Apple to say they have a store “near” a light-rail station! Or even the city to advertise that as such!

    • Well John, Apple isn’t promoting it as such – it’s even still speculative that it will be an Apple Store (although all sings point to “yes”). But the combination of the location and promise of transit subsidies seems to point to, at the very least, an awareness of the future Expo station.

      Fred Camino
      Contributor, The Source