Apple scraps plans for first Australian 'global flagship' store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 5
Apple has shelved plans to build its first global flagship retail store in Australia, as heritage authority officials effectively blocked development of the proposed Federation Square site by declining a demolition permit application.

Apple StoreRendering of Apple's proposed Federation Square store.


Apple in a statement to the The Sydney Morning Herald confirmed it will no longer pursue the Melbourne project, which called for the demolition of Federation Square's Yarra Building.

"We remain committed to serving our customers in Melbourne and across Australia," an Apple spokesperson said.

Heritage Victoria, a government body in charge of administering cultural heritage regulations in the state, handed down a refusal to Federation Square management's application for demolition on Friday, the report said. In its ruling, the authority found Apple's proposed structure would be "visually dominant," adding that the removal of the Yarra Building would diminish the space.

Since announcing its intent to build a flagship store in Federation Square in late 2017, Apple has experienced major pushback from government officials, advocacy groups and the public at large. The location, with its museums, art galleries and eateries, is widely recognized as one of the most important cultural hubs in Melbourne. Apple's outlet would be the first retail space in the complex.

Apple attempted to address public concerns by revising the store's design to better complement surrounding structures, but opposition to the project persisted unabated.

In a move designed to halt Apple's plans, the National Trust last August nominated Federation Square to the Victorian Heritage Register. Heritage Victoria subsequently issued an Interim Protection Order under the Victoria State Government's Heritage Act of 2017, prohibiting development of the site for at least four months.

Federation Square attempted to force the issue by applying for a permit to demolish the Yarra Building in December, a proposal quashed by today's ruling.

The development marks the third major setback for Apple's retail team in the last two months. In February, Apple saw its bid to build a store in Stockholm's Kungstradgarden blocked by public and government resistance, while mall owners in Israel earlier this month rejected financial terms for an outlet to be built in Tel Aviv.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    anomeanome Posts: 1,297member
    I didn't realise this was meant to be a "Global Flagship" store. I'm not surprised they've given up on Federation Square, though. Melbournians are very conservative and parochial. Comes from their inferiority complex over Sydney. Kind of like Chicago and New York.

    Apple, if you're reading this, if you want to open a bigger store in Canberra, I'd be willing to go there. And at least a few hundred other people would, too...

    Just don't put it in Perth. No-one wants to go to Perth.
    grbladecaladanianentropysravnorodomJWSC1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,138member
    anome said:
    I didn't realise this was meant to be a "Global Flagship" store. I'm not surprised they've given up on Federation Square, though. Melbournians are very conservative and parochial. Comes from their inferiority complex over Sydney. Kind of like Chicago and New York.

    Apple, if you're reading this, if you want to open a bigger store in Canberra, I'd be willing to go there. And at least a few hundred other people would, too...

    Just don't put it in Perth. No-one wants to go to Perth.
    Parochial* yes but I'd hardly call them conservative.

    I mean this is poor design on Apples part and follows a bit of a trend of them co-oping the public space for stores of late.
    The orginal roll out  Apple stores  were infill and heritage recovery projects that did create and interesting hybrid of private space opened to the public but projects of late have crossover the other way. Apple should look at what made the orginal store good from a city making prespective and try and get back to that.

    *Sydney architect who regularly works in many other cities including Melbs ( ;-)yes I did aberviate because I know how much it annoys people from Melbourne).
    caladanianGeorgeBMacJWSCsteveauwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 449member
    anome said:
    I didn't realise this was meant to be a "Global Flagship" store. I'm not surprised they've given up on Federation Square, though. Melbournians are very conservative and parochial. Comes from their inferiority complex over Sydney. Kind of like Chicago and New York.

    Apple, if you're reading this, if you want to open a bigger store in Canberra, I'd be willing to go there. And at least a few hundred other people would, too...

    Just don't put it in Perth. No-one wants to go to Perth.
    I have a few friends in the Perth area.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,693member
    I saw a picture of the present building that's there. Never heard of it before, but it looks like a bunch of scrap randomly put together.

    But, hey, if the people or community there wants to preserve something just for the sake of preserving it, even if it's ugly, and not have an Apple store, then that's their choice.
    entropysGeorgeBMacJWSCcornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 30
    It's kind of funny watching how this has unfolded - first with Melbourne polies luring this development to their city, only for the people of the city to reject it. I am all for the people having the power to make this sort of change, but as a whole it's drenched in hypocrisy, inflexibility and a total absence of vision. That last point isn't surprising though, to get anything done in Melbourne you need to bookend it with cheery, overly digested PR. (Sadly Sydney is becoming a bit like that too.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    macseeker said:
    anome said:
    I didn't realise this was meant to be a "Global Flagship" store. I'm not surprised they've given up on Federation Square, though. Melbournians are very conservative and parochial. Comes from their inferiority complex over Sydney. Kind of like Chicago and New York.

    Apple, if you're reading this, if you want to open a bigger store in Canberra, I'd be willing to go there. And at least a few hundred other people would, too...

    Just don't put it in Perth. No-one wants to go to Perth.
    I have a few friends in the Perth area.
    We all have to make sacrifices😊

    Aaaaanyway. I don’t think that embarrassing eyesore (is there anything as bullshit as “heritage listing” classifications?) known as Federation Square deserves anything as tasteful as an Apple Store.

    and yeah, Apple should just give Victoristan the middle finger and go to a place where enterprise and entrepreneurship still gets respect. Queensland. 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    itchiiitchii Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    This is not a surprise at all - Apple should never have tried this in the first place. Melbourne is Australia's most progressive city, even more so than Sydney! Let's get this straight - *Melbournians want an Apple store in the CBD* - just not at Fed Square - its simply the wrong location, wrong design of building and deeply inappropriate place for a retail store. This community pushback is something that Apple should expect more of - Apple stores are fine - just not in public spaces meant for the community - not a corporate retailer. People may think of the buildings at Federation Square as ugly (they did so with the Sydney Opera House too) but its become a major part of the city and is largely considered as a major public landmark and meeting place. Apple really should have gotten in early and renovated the old CBD post office before H&M got their hands on it.
    gatorguyGeorgeBMac1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member
    Melbourne is Australia's most progressive city,

    So Melbourne people kept telling us. And telling us. And telling us. 
    And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us.
    EsquireCatsdanhmattinozbeowulfschmidtarthurbaanomecornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    itchiiitchii Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    entropys said:
    Melbourne is Australia's most progressive city,

    So Melbourne people kept telling us. And telling us. And telling us. 
    And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us. And telling us.
    Typical snide, and uncalled comment coming from an inhabitant of the state which calls Fraser Anning, and One Nation home! Every Australian city has its pros and cons, which you very well know. This site isn't a place for you to bash other cities you don't like - we're talking about a failed Apple store here, not a critique of cities other than those in Queensland.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,850member

    ....uncalled comment coming from an inhabitant of the state which calls Fraser Anning, and One Nation home!

    hmm, got me there!
    I will get over it though.  I never said I don’t like visiting Melbourne. I just find it funny how much you lot seem to think you are better than everyone else, and keep having to tell us about it, like deep down you know it isn’t true. You know, a chip on your shoulder.

    Here is a little story. One of Mrs Entropy friends is this Melbourne girl, well she grew up in Toorak. Wonderful girl, married this pommy stockbroker. Anyway we went to the wedding, which was at some cathedral in Glen Iris, followed by the reception in grandma’s ballroom. And a fine time was had by all. 
    Anyway, at our table was a bunch of nurses, one of whom had done a stint at Concorde hospital in Sydney.  She as complaining about the people there. She said “and when I told them I was from Melbourne, it was like they didn’t care, as if it wasn’t important!” 
    Most of the table commiserated, while Mrs Entropy was kicking me under the table to stop me laughing. Good times.
    mattinozJWSCcornchipstompywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,555member
    anome said:
    I didn't realise this was meant to be a "Global Flagship" store. I'm not surprised they've given up on Federation Square, though. Melbournians are very conservative and parochial. Comes from their inferiority complex over Sydney. Kind of like Chicago and New York.
    Um, raised Chicago-area guy here, first I've heard of a Chicago-NYC inferiority complex.
    Soli
  • Reply 12 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,309member
    anome said:
    I didn't realise this was meant to be a "Global Flagship" store. I'm not surprised they've given up on Federation Square, though. Melbournians are very conservative and parochial. Comes from their inferiority complex over Sydney. Kind of like Chicago and New York.
    Um, raised Chicago-area guy here, first I've heard of a Chicago-NYC inferiority complex.
    I’m from southern Illinois and I wish Chicago would sink into Lake Michigan so we wouldn’t have to smell it down here.
    macseeker
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 167unconfirmed, member
    Im my opinion, the Apple store always has great outdoor seating areas, there would be a great balcony with a view too.

    And the shows and other things that pop up on the Today at Apple sessions. 

    It's not JUST a retail store.......
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,137member
    Good for them!
    As a Pittsburgh native I witnessed how much of Pittsburgh history was cleared away to make way for new-and-improved steel and glass (much like this proposed Apple store) renovation.   That history can never be recovered.

    One of the areas was "millionaires row" -- where Pittsburgh industrial barons built their mansions just prior to the invention of the automobile very near the city.  Those beautiful, handcrafted mansions were almost entirely cleared out and/or gutted to make way for "progress".   It is a sad loss...
  • Reply 15 of 30
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,266member
    So where did we land on Melbourne being progressive or conservative?
    kuduJWSCcornchip
  • Reply 16 of 30
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,007member
    There are historical places associated with remarkable history where visitors from within country and all over the world come visit than worth preserving. If it is more or less commercial related with some history than let it transform into something helping make money and fund the location.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,137member
    wood1208 said:
    There are historical places associated with remarkable history where visitors from within country and all over the world come visit than worth preserving. If it is more or less commercial related with some history than let it transform into something helping make money and fund the location.
    It's not either/or.
    Something can be historic and worth preserving while bringing in money.   But, once destroyed, that historic thing can never be replaced.  
  • Reply 18 of 30
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 531member
    itchii said:
    This is not a surprise at all - Apple should never have tried this in the first place. Melbourne is Australia's most progressive city, even more so than Sydney! Let's get this straight - *Melbournians want an Apple store in the CBD* - just not at Fed Square - its simply the wrong location, wrong design of building and deeply inappropriate place for a retail store. This community pushback is something that Apple should expect more of - Apple stores are fine - just not in public spaces meant for the community - not a corporate retailer. People may think of the buildings at Federation Square as ugly (they did so with the Sydney Opera House too) but its become a major part of the city and is largely considered as a major public landmark and meeting place. Apple really should have gotten in early and renovated the old CBD post office before H&M got their hands on it.
    Pffft.   All you need is a loud and vocal minority to scupper anything.  It’s likely that a majority of locals would have welcomed the Apple store.  But tepid silence won’t win you anything.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 531member
    Good for them!
    As a Pittsburgh native I witnessed how much of Pittsburgh history was cleared away to make way for new-and-improved steel and glass (much like this proposed Apple store) renovation.   That history can never be recovered.

    One of the areas was "millionaires row" -- where Pittsburgh industrial barons built their mansions just prior to the invention of the automobile very near the city.  Those beautiful, handcrafted mansions were almost entirely cleared out and/or gutted to make way for "progress".   It is a sad loss...

    I loved Pittsburgh!  CMU graduate.  But let me ask you, if millionaires row was so precious, why didn’t you or someone else think to buy some of the houses?

    My years in school there in the early ‘80s were wonderful.  But for many natives they were the dark days of high jobless rates after the last of the steel mills shut down.  If a company offers to come in proffering construction jobs and then permanent jobs in the new buildings, I’d be hesitant to trash that company and turn those jobs away.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,137member
    JWSC said:
    Good for them!
    As a Pittsburgh native I witnessed how much of Pittsburgh history was cleared away to make way for new-and-improved steel and glass (much like this proposed Apple store) renovation.   That history can never be recovered.

    One of the areas was "millionaires row" -- where Pittsburgh industrial barons built their mansions just prior to the invention of the automobile very near the city.  Those beautiful, handcrafted mansions were almost entirely cleared out and/or gutted to make way for "progress".   It is a sad loss...

    I loved Pittsburgh!  CMU graduate.  But let me ask you, if millionaires row was so precious, why didn’t you or someone else think to buy some of the houses?

    My years in school there in the early ‘80s were wonderful.  But for many natives they were the dark days of high jobless rates after the last of the steel mills shut down.  If a company offers to come in proffering construction jobs and then permanent jobs in the new buildings, I’d be hesitant to trash that company and turn those jobs away.

    Yes, you are right:   the 80's was time of " dark days of high jobless rates after the last of the steel mills shut down".  And that was what spurred the desire to tear down the old and bring in the new (steel and glass) monstrosities.  But it wasn't a choice between new jobs and old mansions (and such).   It was simply a desire to tear down the old stuff and replace it with new stuff.

    Nobody was turning down jobs.*

    And fortunately many of those old structures were simply boarded up and are, today, being renovated (not gutted) under the direction of the historical society and brought up to modern standards while retaining all of their original artistry and charm.


    * If you're comparing it to the Cortez/Amazon fiasco in NY, there is no connection there.   Totally different.

    edited April 5
Sign In or Register to comment.