Apple might pull long-rumoured Toronto flagship store due to construction delays
In what would amount to a staggering blow for one of Toronto's most-prominent developers, Apple Inc. has reportedly threatened to back out of a lease agreement for a brand new, custom-built retail space at Sam Mizrahi's The One.
This would effectively leave the forthcoming mixed-use tower at Bloor and Yonge Streets not only without an anchor tenant, but with an extra 15,000 square feet of space designed specifically to suit Apple's unique flagship store guidelines.
Long story short, the creators of what is soon expected to be the country's tallest residential building might have wasted $6.24 million (and a heck load of time) on modifying their skyscraper's base for a first-of-its-kind-in-Canada store that Apple doesn't even want anymore because it's taken so damn long to build.
According to the Globe and Mail, the American tech juggernaut has "threatened to pull out of Sam Mizrahi's massive retail and condo project in downtown Toronto" due to a dispute over timelines.
Apple did not have a comment on the matter when reached by blogTO for questioning, but The Globe reports that the California company had told Mizrahi that it "may exercise an option in the lease agreement that allegedly allows the retailer to exit without penalties if the developer misses certain deadlines."
Mizrahi, in turn, turned to Ontario's Superior Court of Justice this past fall in hopes of securing a court order that would prevent Apple from terminating the lease.
A court submission filed by the developer in October states that, should Apple pull out, Mizrahi would "suffer irreparable harm from losing a world-class tenant that was intended to be an anchor tenant for a world-class property, which is a loss that cannot be compensated in damages."
Mizrahi reportedly claims that it has not missed any deadlines, though it is of note that construction on the 85-storey tower has been delayed multiple times, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
No ruling has been issued in the case, and it's not clear if or when the parties will attempt to resolve their dispute.
We can say with some certainty, however, that Canadian Apple fans will be crushed if the Foster + Partners-designed store at The One doesn't come to fruition.
Rumours of a standalone Apple Store coming to Toronto have been swirling for nearly a decade, but the American tech giant has kept mum on the topic even as undeniable evidence leaked over the past few years.
It's hard to imagine which other retailer might want to take over the "international anchor" space, should Apple bail, but it would have to be a pretty fancy one.
The custom-designed space at the base of The One is currently surrounded by seven layers of glass with no breaks, according to the Globe, made up of 34 custom fabricated panels costing roughly $400,000 each.
Apple flagship store in NYC, via Apple.
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