After a decade-long search, Apple is believed to be in the final stages of negotiating a deal to open a new AU$50 million flagship retail store in Melbourne's iconic Federation Square, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Apple has reportedly been in lengthy and secretive negotiations with Federation Square's management and the Victoria state government to demolish the Yarra building in the square and replace it with a standalone, glass retail store. No timeline was provided, but a grand opening would likely remain years away.
Federation Square is a government-owned public space home to, among others, public broadcaster SBS and the Australian Centre for Moving Image. The 344,445-square-foot postmodern development, opened in 2002, is primely located in Melbourne's central business district in the inner city.
Apple has three existing stores in the Melbourne area, but they are located in shopping malls in the suburbs of Chadstone, Doncaster, and Southland.
Meanwhile, in related news, Apple is slated to reopen two more next-generation stores on Saturday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. local time at the Penn Square shopping mall in Oklahoma City and at the Westfield Montgomery shopping mall in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb in the Washington D.C. area.
Apple's new retail layout often includes wide, open spaces with some combination of large glass doors, indoor trees, touch-sensitive sequoia wood tables and shelves for displaying products, large 6K resolution video screens for marketing and events, and light boxes extending the length of the ceiling.
Apple recently opened three other next-generation stores in Edison, New Jersey and Liverpool and Sheffield in England.