File this one under "rumors" for now, but the local real estate watchers around the Castro say that Apple is planning to install its next San Francisco store right in the heart of the neighborhood next Harvey Milk Plaza and the giant rainbow flag at Castro and Market Streets.

According to SocketSite, Diesel was pushed out of the handsome old Bank of America building after getting slammed with a 50% rent hike and a "plugged-in" tipster reports Apple is currently eyeing the space. Apple certainly has the funds to cover such excessively high rents and they do have a flair for dramatic locations like the one in New York's Grand Central Station, so this definitely seems to be within the realm of possibility. Especially now that there won't be any fruits dangling their own wares across the street at Jane Warner Plaza. If Apple does secure the space, we hope the prickly Castro Merchant's association can convince the computer giant to bring back that classic rainbow logo.

Apple hasn't commented just yet, but SFist will, of course, let you know if/when we learn more...