Heritage recommendation for Melbourne’s Federation Square jeopardizes Apple Retail Store plans

“Apple’s plan to raze part of Federation Square to build a mega-store has been thrown into disarray by a heritage recommendation for the landmark,” Royce Millar and Clay Lucas report for The Age. “Heritage Victoria executive director Steven Avery will on Thursday recommend the square be protected by adding it to the Victorian Heritage Register.”

“Premier Daniel Andrews in December gave the nod to plans to demolish Federation Square’s Yarra building so the tech giant could construct a ‘global flagship store’ – one of only five in the world,” Millar and Lucas report. “Current tenant the Koorie Heritage Trust would be moved elsewhere within Federation Square so that Apple could take the prime Yarra River frontage.”

“While Thursday’s recommendation will deal a body blow to the Andrews government’s plans for Federation Square, it does not automatically stop the project,” Millar and Lucas report. “The heritage recommendation by Mr Avery will now be advertised for 60 days, during which time objections and offers of support can be made.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Federation Square is well on its way to becoming the Jackling House of Apple retail stores.

Apple’s Federation Square retail store faces further delays in Australia – August 23, 2018
Apple looks to replace ‘Pizza Hut Pagoda’ flagship store in Melbourne with new boxy design – July 20, 2018
Federation Square flagship Apple store labeled ‘Pizza Hut pagoda’ as Melbourne City Council vows to fight design – February 7, 2018
Apple reveals plans for Apple Federation Square flagship store in Melbourne, Australia – December 20, 2017


  1. This is symptomatic of a larger trend of the public having enough of governments doing secret deals with companies, and shunting the normal processes to keep the community in the dark.

    The Pizza Hut Pagoda came out of nowhere. Yes, people ridiculed the design. But they also were furious that they hadn’t been consulted on the demolition of a building in a facility built for the community. Sure, Apple went back to the drawing board and toned the design down a little, but I feel that the damage has been done.

    If Apple had gone through the proper process, consulted with the people, brought them along — the outcome would have probably been completely different. Apple have only themselves to blame for this bungle.

    1. So, what you are saying then is that you have irrefutable proof that Apple did not follow the process or go through proper channels? I just want you to be clear because your statement clearly implies that Apple does not like following rules and that they can do whatever they want. A rogue company, so to speak.

          1. Okay let me break this down for you.

            The normal process requires going through local government, who have their own planning goals and frameworks. This is to make sure that what is developed works in tandem with the surrounding area and fits into the overall scheme of what the local government wants to achieve for a precinct. This is also done with consultation with stakeholders such as business owners, residents, and people who frequently use a facility or area. This is a process that is hardly unique to Australia.

            What Apple has done is this. They directly pitched their plans to the Planning Minister and circumvented local government entirely. This was probably to lock out local government from the process because they would have required stakeholder input and a period of public consultation.

            The Planning Minister does have the power to override local government, however as these things play out it’s normally the case that the Minister gets involved after a developer is unable to get something approved by local government. In that case, the proposal is either approved or rejected.

            Is Apple rogue? Of course not. Can Apple do whatever they want? If the government rolls over for them, yes they can. At what point does the government roll into the precipice of public outrage? I think this exercise in hubris has shown us a pretty clear yardstick.

  2. It would seem that the easiest solution would be to put the store over the underground railway station being built.

    Like a lot of countries (and cities) politicians are concerned about voters – especially the ones that are the loudest in protesting. The Yarra building does have an aboriginal flavor to it and that is going to add sensitivity to it.

    Melbourne is a large city and Apple might find it more profitable to put in multiple, smaller stores in malls. That might generate more sales & profits. Regardless, it is time for Apple to look at multiple options.

    PS: Wonder how much taxes are being paid by the Foundation that is now renting/leasing the current building.

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