Apple has unveiled plans for its new flagship store in Melbourne’s Federation Square which will replace the iconic southern building with a two-storey design concept and provide more space to the public.
Apple had reportedly been in negotiations with Federation Square and the Victorian government for more than a year.
The new Apple Federation Square will be powered entirely by renewable energy and will have more than 200 staff.
The project isn’t due to begin until 2019.
But the announcement did attract some controversy with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ Facebook page bombarded with negative comments.
“This is public space Dan, not an opportunity for retail,” Adam Kelly commented.
“Turning Federation Square into a shopping strip now?” asked Kyle Uglow-Turpin.
But not all people were unhappy.
“Melbourne needs a CBD Apple Store. Apple signature stores aren’t known as just stores …. but as community gathering places. Their stores are architectural masterpieces. They won’t ruin Fed Square. They’ll definitely do something to complement it.” said David Evans.
The new concept store will follow Apple’s latest retail design with a two-level sculptural pavilion with wraparound glass and views of the city and the Yarra River.
There will also be metal cladding and stone flooring to complement the adjacent buildings and plaza along with increased areas of greenery.
Apple says it will actually increase the public space within Federation Square through its planning and landscaping as well as improve access and visibility of the nearby Yarra River.
“We’re thrilled to move forward in the planning process for our new home in Melbourne’s Federation Square and would be honoured to call the world-class galleries and museums of Melbourne our neighbours,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail.
“Apple Federation Square respects the original vision for the plaza, with a bespoke design concept and extensive landscaping bringing increased opportunities for the community to enjoy this renowned cultural hub.”
As with its other stores, Apple intends to create a place for the community to gather to shop and be educated and inspired.
Apple will hold its free Today at Apple sessions about photography, music creation, app development and more.
Last month Apple opened its new Chadstone store, the first in Australia to adopt the new store design concept with a forum area and a Genius Grove where experts can advise customers beneath native ficus trees.
Customers have been waiting for Apple to open a store in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and now it appears their wishes have come true.