Planners released an initial review of Apple's design proposal Thursday, calling for the Cupertino company to better integrate the historical and architectural style of the square into its plans for the store and to keep the fountain at its current spot or find another spot for it in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The absence of the circular bronze fountain designed by famed local sculptor Ruth Asawa in Apple's plans prompted an outcry from residents.
Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said the company and Hyatt Hotels have always intended to find the "best possible location where it can live on in the community when the city approves the project." The fountain was installed in 1973 as part of what was then the new Hyatt complex.
"The Ruth Asawa fountain is a beloved local monument and an important part of Union Square," Wilkinson said. She declined to say whether the fountain would stay in the plaza or be relocated.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said he thinks a decision on the fountain will likely be made "in a short period of time."
Apple is envisioning one of its classic cube-style stores with a 115-foot glass wall at the front of the store and another wall composed entirely of steel panels. The city's review asked for more color and texture on the glass and some windows on the steel-paneled wall.
"The bottom line is, a contemporary building can work," John Rahaim, the city's planning director, told the Chronicle. But he said planners were looking for a little more "texture" and architectural compatibility with the surrounding district, which includes dozens of masonry buildings from before World War II.
Also, if the planning department determines Union Square is an "urban bird refuge," clear glass would be allowed on no more than 10 percent of the store's glass wall.