Adding 'an Apple a day' to New Haven’s renaissance plate

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When Apple officially announced the opening date for its new store on Broadway in New Haven, the Twitterverse was abuzz with commentary: “Coolest thing in a while,” “awesome,” “THIS IS LIFE ALTERING,” “now my life is perfect,” “BEST NEWS EVER,” and “fluttery with anticipation” were among the sentiments expressed.

That virtual excitement was translated into real-world enthusiasm when thousands of people from campus and community came to Broadway on Sept. 24 to visit the newest addition to New Haven’s downtown landscape. New Haven is in good company with the new store, as Apple also opened new stores in Shanghai, Paris, Sydney, and Catania, Italy, at the end of September.

Located next to the Yale Bookstore, the addition of the Apple enterprise to the Broadway district gives added momentum to Yale University Properties’ project to bring new vitality to the city’s shopping districts - a project that began in the 1990s.

“Apple is a fantastic addition,” said Abigail Rider, associate vice president and director of University Properties. “They join a roster of over 90 retailers and restaurants doing business in our properties on Broadway and other key areas downtown that together employ more than 650 people.” These stores and restaurants annually serve hundreds of thousands of customers, both New Haven residents and visitors drawn to the Elm City from the region and far beyond.

Since Yale pays full property taxes on all its non-academic properties, these retail developments bolster the city’s budget. The commercial spaces in the University Properties portfolio alone pay $1.85 million in property taxes, even before this newest arrival, generating budget revenue for services to residents citywide.

Apple’s decision to open in New Haven recognizes the community’s strength and progress, says Rider. The latest report from Bloomberg.com shows New Haven has the highest apartment occupancy rate of any market in the country, bested only by New York City. From 2000 to 2010, New Haven recorded the largest population gain of any city over 100,000 in New England. The arrival of Apple will no doubt keep the buzz about New Haven going and help its economy keep growing, adds Rider.

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