Apple is building a new Global Flagship Store at Melbourne's Federation Square. To do so, the current 15-year old building will be demolished.
Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe, Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren and Minister for Trade and Investment, Innovation & the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis made the announcement this morning.
"The development of the site, and the anticipated increase in visitor numbers, will reinvigorate Federation Square allowing us to embark on a program of growth and regeneration," Tribe said.
"After a successful first fifteen years it is now time to ensure Federation Square is equipped to welcome more visitors, host more meaningful civic and cultural events, and deliver an enhanced visitor experience."
And that means demolishing the current building.
The new building will create nearly 500 square metres of new public space, the trio said. It will better connect The Square with the Yarra River and Birrarung Marr, and the new building will take up less space than the Yarra building it replaces opening up more public space in front of Federation Square's recently announced $5.4 million "screen evolution" project, "allowing even more people to enjoy events on the big screen".
"Apple’s Global Flagship Store is an ideal fit with Federation Square's civic and cultural charter which calls for 'innovation and creativity in all forms of cultural expression' as well as activities that attract national and international visitors," said Mr Tribe.
"In its fifteen years as the heart of Melbourne, Federation Square has championed the values of innovation, creativity, design and community. As we embark on the next chapter in Federation Square's evolution the Apple Global Flagship Store will ensure we continue to deliver on these values to new generations," he said.
"Apple Federation Square" will be powered entirely by renewable energy, Apple says. The tech giant says the project will create over 200 new Apple positions and support several hundred construction jobs.
"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."
Federation Square’s lead architect Donald Bates and the Victorian Government architect Jill Garner have been involved in the planning and consideration of this project and have both endorsed the proposed design.
Construction on the Apple Global Flagship Store is anticipated to begin in mid-2019.