Apple (APPL) quietly unveiled plans today for a new “prototype” store in Palo Alto near that will feature a special “commons” area where Apple fanatics can use their products in a communal space. No other details were released about how the store will be different from current Apple stores, but the “prototype” designation seems to indicate that even bigger things are in the works for the store. However, don’t expect a national rollout any time soon, as Apple wants to hone the “experience” consumers get in this store before they take it to a national scale. In order to test the waters as accurately as possible, Apple is building the prototype very close to where the first Apple store debuted in 2001.

An Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying  “We are planning a beautiful new store just a few steps away, building on everything we’ve learned from our customers in Palo Alto and around the world.” Although Apple seems to be touting the location’s proximity to the original Apple Store, a local source is saying that Apple will be closing this location as soon as the prototype store is complete, as Apple doesn’t want to cannibalize its own store.

The new building will be two stories tall and feature 15,000 square feet of space. The new building is going to be in one of the denser areas of Palo Alto, and is expected to attract more retail offerings near the store space, as Apple is a highly sought after “anchor” store in the region. Businesses in the area have flocked to surround other Apple stores, and this “prototype” store should be no different.

Apple didn’t announce when they wanted to break ground on this store, or when they are targeting a grand opening, so Apple faithful will have to wait to check out this new “experience” until more information is available.

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