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Where the Money Went in Apple's New $23.6 Million Store

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A million dollars worth of stairs, for one thing

The Apple store on Post Street. Patricia Chang

Curious how much a big and splashy projects like Apple's new Union Square store, with its 40-foot-sliding glass doors and 50 foot green wall, would set you back? The folks over at BuildZoom compiled all of the permits, an intriguing look into the finances of a major downtown development.

All told, the permitted construction costs ran Apple at least $23.6 million. That’s the same amount of money it costs them to manufacture 100,854 iPhone 6s. $19 million of that was just the building shell. Here’s a breakdown of where the scratch went:

  • $2.28 million: Total cost of upgrading the building’s sprinkler system.
  • $1.5 million: Tenant improvements for the building next door.
  • $1 million: Price of the store’s staircase.
A steep price indeed.
Patricia Chang
  • $800,000: Value of the 50 kilowatt solar power apparatus on the roof.
  • $250,000: Price of the building’s interior and exterior frame.
  • $150,000: Cost of installing canopy panels.
  • $100,000: Price of demolishing the old storefront.
  • $100,000: Seismic upgrades for the second floor and roof.
  • $82,000: The cost of installing the signage on the exterior building. The giant stainless steel logo was only $2,000 of this.
It would have been even more, but some joker took a bite out of it first.
  • $50,000: Cost of a single guard rail on "stair number six."
  • $50,000: The price of just the store’s shelving.
  • $50,000: The price for just the structural supports for the ginormous video wall.
  • $4,000: Price of the fire alarms in the redwood ballroom.

BuildZoom's Jack Cookson cautions that the $23.6 million figure is a ballpark guess. It's a judgment call whether you count things like the improvements made to the building next door, for example.

And of course, these figures are estimates offered ahead of time, so many of them almost certainly ran over, because of course. Really puts an extra shine on that apple.

Apple Store

300 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA