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Apple Store leaving The Gateway for City Creek

Published June 2, 2012 7:59 am

Retail • Popular electronics store breaks lease with The Gateway to move to new outdoor mall on Main Street.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

One of the The Gateway's busiest retailers, the Apple Store, will be moving to the City Creek Center at the end of the year in what is sure to be a major blow to the Salt Lake City mall.

Jake Boyer, president and chief executive of The Boyer Company, which owns and manages the area of The Gateway where the Apple Store is located, confirmed Friday that the popular electronics retailer is breaking its lease to move to City Creek.

"We were notified by Apple that they will be leaving sometime toward the end of the year," Boyer said. "It's a high-volume tenant that has been a great addition to Gateway. But Gateway was in existence for five years before they got there, so it isn't like The Gateway hasn't seen days without the Apple Store. But it would be better to have Apple than not have Apple."

While Boyer said he was told that the high-profile store would be moving to the outdoor City Creek Center on Main Street, a City Creek spokesman would not confirm they were getting it.

"We haven't made any announcements about new retailers at City Creek," mall spokesman Dee Brewer said. An Apple representative in the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters also would not confirm the move.

City Creek, which opened in March, has about 95 percent of its retail space rented out, Brewer said, and another four businesses will be opening there by the fall, including Aveda and clothing store Anthropologie, which also is moving from The Gateway.

"We hope to have all the rest of the spaces filled by the end of the year," he said.

The mall is part of a larger City Creek project that also includes condominiums and office space and was built by the development arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Gateway's Apple Store opened in 2005 and was the first to be built in Utah. A second Apple outlet opened last August at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray.

In order to move to City Creek, Apple is breaking a 10-year lease with Gateway, Boyer said, though he did not know what deal City Creek officials made with the retailer to woo them over.

The Gateway, which has more than 80 tenants, initially lost more than a dozen retailers to City Creek, including J.Crew, LOFT and American Eagle Outfitters. But it still is the home of entertainment businesses such as the Megaplex movie theaters, the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum and the Clark Planetarium.

"The Gateway continues to have the majority of the restaurant component, together with entertainment and family venues, in downtown Salt Lake City," Boyer said.

Yet the relocation of Apple could have a major impact on overall customer traffic at the Gateway. The store has been the Utah center of all of Apple's major product launches, specifically for each new iPhone and iPad. Hundreds of customers have been known to stand in line for days in front of the Gateway store to be among the first to buy a new iPhone or iPad.

There are 368 Apple stores worldwide.

Once the Salt Lake City store moves to City Creek, it will be one of only several in the Apple chain that will be closed on Sundays, a condition that all retail stores must make to be in the new mall. The mall itself and some of the restaurants are open on Sundays.

vince@sltrib.com

Google+: +Vincent Horiuchi