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The Silly Secrets of Third Street Promenade's Not-Apple Store

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CNN is doing a series on Apple's sometimes odd devotion to secrecy and today looks at the pretty ridiculous events behind the not-Apple Store under construction now on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica (just down the way from an older, smaller Apple). We first reported in August that someone had submitted plans to the city for a store that not only looks exactly like an Apple Store in Manhattan, but is also just really obviously an Apple Store. At the time, a planner involved told us she couldn't say who the planned retailer was. Here's some of the nonsense illustrated by CNN:

-- Tony Kim, the planner assigned to the project says "I've been asked not to divulge [the name of the tenant]." He adds that "Several aspects of his dealings with the company for the new store were out of the ordinary."

-- At a September meeting of the Architectural Review Board, member John Ellis said "'When I'm in these stores," Ellis began, paused and then whispered, 'You know, I mean, the Apple stores, they sometimes can get hot because there are so many people.'"

-- At that same meeting, the ARB voted unanimously to delay the project because not-Apple had not completed a full report and because it had concerns over the sustainability of the glass roof. Then: "six minutes later, as the board was preparing to adjourn, the Apple team returned and requested that the board vote again."

-- The not-Apple team argued that sustainability is not the ARB's concern, so it shouldn't factor into the decision. And then developer Howard Robinson, who's been repping the project, said "This company has a proven track record in sustainability. They have many, many programs. They've been well-known for it around the world." But he still wouldn't say the name!

-- Still, the ARB took a second vote and passed the project.
· The covert birth of Apple's next Santa Monica store [CNN]
· Someone Wants to Build a Glass-Roofed Apple Store on the Third Street Promenade [Curbed LA]