Apple's newest and possibly grandest store, while still hidden from ground-level view by tall black sheeting, is taking shape on the west end of Stanford Shopping Center.
Although officials at both the mall and Apple's Cupertino headquarters continue to be tight-lipped about the huge structure, construction is in full swing seven days a week, usually beginning at 7 a.m., according to a security guard at the site. A large crane towers above the single-story, 23-foot-tall store to carefully lift glass panels into place.
When asked about the status of the store last week, company spokesperson Michaela Wilkinson would say only: "We have made no announcement about a store at that location." The identical statement was given to the Weekly one year ago, when the story first was printed about the 12,000-square-foot store beginning construction.
At that time, a source familiar with the project said that initial estimates were for a grand opening in November 2012. The apparent delays may be due to the sensitive glass design of the building.
"Apple is a great innovator of glass. The glass technique used in this building is very advanced," said a source who would speak only under the condition of anonymity. "Unlike other materials, there is no forgiveness with glass. It has to be precise and must fit perfectly. There's no margin of error. It's a complicated process but will be well worth the time and investment to create the indoor/outdoor environment in the design of the building."
Although the project is obscured from shoppers in the mall, and even Google maps fail to yield clues since the satellite photo of the location has not been updated in more than a year, there is one way to see it, thanks to a creative Weekly reader. A two-story parking garage that faces Neiman Marcus makes for adequate viewing. Climb the 20 steps to the upper level to get a fairly unobstructed panorama of the sheer size and elegant design of the new Apple store.