The preeminent real estate project in the nation’s capital will not be home to one of the country’s preeminent retailers, Apple.
Hines Interests, the Houston developer behind the $1 billion downtown CityCenterDC project, said Tuesday that Apple has pulled out of negotiations to open a store there, a setback to plans to make the development a destination for high-end retail.
For more than a year, the developer and the tech giant discussed opening a showcase Apple Store in a prominent storefront — construction of which is nearly complete — that takes up the entire side of a building facing what will be a public plaza along New York Avenue, giving it unobstructed downtown views.
The deal would have given Apple a downtown presence possibly akin to the store Apple opened in 2011 in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
But Apple withdrew from negotiations last year, according to Howard Riker, managing director at Hines, who is overseeing the project. He and the company declined to comment further.
Apple did not immediately return an e-mail requesting comment. The company has one D.C. store, in Georgetown, as well as six in Northern Virginia and three in the Maryland suburbs.
— Jonathan O'Connell
Mohamed El-Erian, heir apparent to Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, will step down as chief executive and co-chief investment officer, raising questions about the future of Pacific Investment Management, the world’s largest bond-fund manager.
Neither the company, which announced the changes Tuesday, nor El-Erian gave a reason for the departure, which comes at a time when many investors are turning their backs on the kind of bond investments that Pimco is famous for offering. Customers withdrew $41.1 billion from Pimco’s flagship, Total Return Fund, last year, a record amount for the $2 trillion manager, according to investment research firm Morningstar.
El-Erian, 55, had increasingly been Pimco’s public face, appearing regularly on cable television and at industry conferences. Bill Gross, 69, who spent decades building Pimco into the colossus it is today, said two years ago that when he retired he expected El-Erian to take over.
On Tuesday, Gross tweeted “PIMCO’s fully engaged. Batteries 110 percent charged. I’m ready to go for another 40 years!”
El-Erian will remain a consultant at Allianz, the German insurer that owns Pimco.
● A U.S. appeals court gave Apple a reprieve from an external monitor appointed to oversee its compliance with antitrust laws after the company was found liable last year for conspiring to raise e-book prices. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York on Tuesday granted Apple a hearing on whether to stop the monitor, Michael Bromwich, from doing his job while the company pursues a formal appeal, which could last several months. In granting an “administrative stay,” the 2nd Circuit said that a three-judge panel would hear Apple’s motion for a stay pending appeal as soon as possible.
● Fiat has completed its buyout of Chrysler, making the U.S. business a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian carmaker. The company announced Jan. 1 that it had struck a $4.35 billion deal — cheaper than analysts had expected — to acquire the remaining 41.46 percent stake in Chrysler from a retiree health-care trust affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.
● The Secret Service said that it was checking for links between the recent hacking of consumer data from Target and the weekend arrest of two Mexicans who tried to enter the United States at a Texas border crossing with a cache of fraudulent credit cards. But other law enforcement officials said it was not clear whether there was a link between the Target data breach and the arrests, which occurred at the U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Tex.
● Verizon posted fourth-quarter net income of $5.07 billion, beating Wall Street predictions. The company added 1.7 million net retail wireless connections during the quarter, excluding acquisitions and adjustments. Meanwhile, Verizon’s overall population of retail wireless subscribers increased 4.5 percent, to 35.1 million.
● ● News Corp. said that Lex Fenwick is leaving as chief executive of Dow Jones, less than two years after taking the helm. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns Dow Jones, said that it was reviewing the one-size-fits-all strategy that Fenwick had put in place for its news wires and other products. The bundled product offering that resulted, known as DJX, alienated some of the banks, hedge funds and retail brokers that were its main customers because of its rigid pricing structure.
— From news services
● Earnings: eBay, General Dynamics, Netflix.