Apple's new Michigan Avenue flagship opening next month

Apple will open its new Michigan Avenue flagship store Oct. 20, the tech giant announced Tuesday during a press event that also featured the launch of the latest versions of the iPhone.

The $27 million, 20,000-square-foot store, along the north bank of the Chicago River, will replace Apple's current store farther north on the Magnificent Mile. Apple has been at that location since 2003.

The new flagship's glass walls are meant to connect what's inside the store and what's outside, at a location connecting the tourist sites farther south on Michigan Avenue to the retail shops farther north, architect James McGrath said earlier this year. McGrath is a partner at Foster + Partners, the London-based architectural firm that designed the Chicago store and Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

The store will have many of the new elements introduced at a San Francisco Apple store that opened last year, he said, including an outdoor plaza, a gathering place centered around a video wall Apple calls "The Forum" that can host events and classes, a stretch of windowlike displays showing off products and indoor ficus trees.

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