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Tropical trees, mid-century design: One-of-a-kind Apple store coming to South Florida

A new Apple store is opening at Aventura Mall. Its design, and the schedule, are uniquely Miami.
A new Apple store is opening at Aventura Mall. Its design, and the schedule, are uniquely Miami. Getty Images

Congratulations, South Florida Apple lovers: Your loyalty is being rewarded with a one-of-a-kind store at Aventura Mall.

No, we’re not talking about a fruit stand.

On Aug. 10, a grand opening will be held for what will be the largest Apple store among the nine now in South Florida. It’s designed to cater to the thousands of gadget geeks who already frequent the Northeast Miami-Dade location each year.

Chris Brathwaite, senior director of Apple retail design, said the store’s look was executed with South Florida features in mind. It will feature all-white precast concrete, with enormous steel beams supporting a vaulted ceiling, to create a multi-floor “double-height” space. Part of the store will also be “outside,” if not totally outdoors, as it sits beneath a clear-glass enclosure. Apple does not comment on total square footage.

“It’s consistent with the marine climate and classic mid-century design of the region,” he said.

Other store features:

  • An amphitheater that can seat hundreds, featuring leather seating
  • “Today at Apple” sessions with “world class artists.” To wit: opening day will kick off with Tainy, the principal producer for Bad Bunny and countless other Latin performers

  • Instead of a Genius Bar, there will be a Genius Grove featuring a canopy of 22-foot tall local tropical trees

  • An outdoor public garden area with Apple Store’s classic teak tables

The new store also comes with 344 jobs, about 40 more than at the mall’s existing Apple location. All current employees there will move to the new location. Apple declined to comment on starting salaries but said all employees receive full benefits.

The store will be part of Aventura Mall’s expansion wing, which has been open since Dec. 2017. The mall’s unique features and central location in the region made it a prime choice for a showcase store, Brathwaite said.

Aventura was somewhere we could create a store that blended the lines between living outside, and also benefiting from space of shopping mall,” Brathwaite said.

“Apple is a global leader in innovation, design and creativity — and that extends to the architecture of its new Aventura Mall store,” added Jackie Soffer, Turnberry chairman and CEO, in a statement. “Visitors from across South Florida and around the world will be thrilled to experience the new location.”

Don’t tell Apple retail is dead — at least not in South Florida. Brathwaite says the area’s tourism continues to boom — and that those tourists continue to show a willingness to shop.

“We believe physical retail is very much alive,” Braithwaite said. “I think our store will become a landmark in its own right.”

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