The Big Apple at Fed Square. Delayed for one year.

The Victorian Government, the NEW Victorian Government, well ok its the old Victorian Government with a much bigger mandate must be feeling somewhat edgy about its Federation Square plans for a new Apple Store. Its delayed the project for a year. This could be based on a sense of uncertainty or it could be a tactic to wait until the project has less fizz. Either way, the start date, originally timed for the commencement of 2019 has now been pushed back to 2020, with the Apple Store to open in 2021.

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Of course there is the little matter of a Heritage Listing in the offing for Federation Square. Heritage Victoria have recommended the location in totality, be included on the Victorian Heritage Register. A decision is expected on finalising the Heritage Listing early next year (2019).

There has been an almighty backlash to the proposal to put an Apple Store into the Square, a public space. The decision to proceed was secretive with planning permits being issued without public consultation or Council approval. The commercialisation of what is essentially a public space has met with solid opposition from the City of Melbourne and a range of interest groups.

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See our previous blogs on this Fed Square development:

Originally mooted and proposed by the then Tourism Minister Philip Dalidakis, the project was pushed heavily by the Government and the Federation Square Management team. In it annual report, the Fed Square team pointed out that “there are only 6 Global flagship Apple Stores worldwide with only one located in the Southern Hemisphere.” Federation Square management believed the store would attract an extra 2 million people to Federation Square each year. It pointed out that the Civic and Cultural Charter of Federation Square covered such a development and suggested the project would bring a range of significant benefits to the community.

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The two ministers John Eren and Phillip Dalidakis were both not re-appointed upon the re-election of the Andrews Government. The City of Melbourne demanded a significantly different design for the Apple Building before consideration for permits was considered in July this year.

The re-elected Premier Daniel Andrews is standing by the Store.

“Do we really want this thing to go to Sydney with all the jobs and opportunities that go with it? That’s not my position” Mr Andrews told the Age newspaper.

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Great PR but at no stage does either the Government, the Federation Square Management team or the Premier himself acknowledge the unique architectural wonder that is Federation Square – a public space designed to host large crowds of people at public events.

It must be considered as a whole and not by its parts. It is a world class facility recognised widely as a masterful design that will stand the test of time – unlike that phone you’re using or the tablet that gets tweeked every two years to get you to purchase another one.

Federation Square must remain intact to fully retain its integrity. Bring on 2020 and the Heritage Listing decision. Some things are just best left as they are.

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings. For further information on Balance Architecture’s services or to make an appointment for a free consultation, please click here or call 0418 341 443.

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