Proposed Apple Store Location in Australia Gets Temporary Heritage Protection

by

Apple's plans for its first flagship store in Australia have been dealt another blow, with The Age reporting that the proposed location in Melbourne has won Heritage Protection status until late 2018.

The Victorian branch of Australia's National Trust is said to have nominated Federation Square for protection earlier this month, shortly after Apple submitted revised blueprints for the planned store on July 19.

Apple's revised Federation Square design

The Heritage Protection status means no work on the square can take place until December 21, 2018 without explicit permission from the National Trust. With Apple not hoping to start construction until next year, the date on its own isn't a problem, but the move by Heritage Victoria suggests that permanent protection is the final goal.

The construction of the new store would require the demolition of the well-known Yarra building, which has infuriated Melbourne residents and led to major protests suggesting the public space should not be given over to a corporation.

In February, Melbourne's City Council backed a motion to lobby for a new store design, and Apple's revised plan was positively received by the Federation Square leadership, but it looks as if public community groups have yet to be convinced.

"The interim protection order allows us to take stock and think about what makes Fed Square truly special," said Citizens for Melbourne president Tania Davidge, speaking to The Age. "Hopefully, after eight months of discussion behind closed doors, Victorians will now have the opportunity to have a say about the future of their public, cultural and civic square."

Another view of the new design

The city of Melbourne's Heritage portfolio chair Rohan Leppert said the public backlash to the proposed Apple store proved that Federation Square "is a site of state significance", and said he was glad that Heritage Victoria was taking the proposal to permanently protect Federation Square seriously.

"Heritage Victoria's decision to apply an IPO formalises these public heritage values and is very welcome, as is the exceptional leadership of the National Trust," he said.

Despite the square being granted temporary protection status, the state government is still siding with Apple on the issue. Responding to the news, tourism and major events minister John Eren said it would be "unprecedented" to heritage list a site that is only 16 years old.

"To do so could lead to significant implications for future projects," Eren told The Age. "This will not stop us delivering the Metro Tunnel and other vital projects that are good for Melbourne and good for jobs."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
29 months ago
Melbournian here.

I sincerely apologize to Apple for all the bs that this situation is arising to.

Let Apple build their redesigned store in Fed Square. Theres a damn 7-11 there for goodness sake.

What a joke.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Welcome to Australia, where we complain our cities are dead, boring and old, but jump up and down as soon as someone dare suggest redeveloping anything.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Heritage for something that's only 16 years old?!? Sounds more like it's an anti-corporation move to me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Federation Square is a city square. It has significance because people loiter there. Locals? Maybe. Well, not really. A lot of tourists mixed with locals. If the Australian Open (tennis) is on, it’s packed. Festivals? Some of them take place there.

“Heritage” significance, though? That’s a laugh. The place didn’t even exist until 16 years ago, and people today still think it’s hideous. The ONLY reason the area, with its visually busy stone aesthetics and monolithic buildings, garish hobbled steps that people don’t even like sitting on, is because that space is what we have. That could have been said about ANYTHING that’s built there, and that includes a nice Apple Store, but people just like what they know, no matter how bad the current space is. Again, it’s what we have, and we do use it.

What’s there isn’t worth protecting. Same goes for that Terminal Bar or whatever it’s called. Yes, I’ve had a beer there a few times. It’s not a nice place, which is quite surprising because it faces the river and the balcony should be better designed to take advantage of that. Somehow, they messed it up.

Same goes for the other restaurants and bars in Federation Square. None of it is worth keeping untouched and unchanged.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Australian here. Would love for it to be revamped.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

You didnt address the 7-11 which is taking up “valuable” Federation Square space. For what sort of cultural addition?

I constantly hear this argument, but no matter how I approach it, it always feels like a massive stretch to compare a small retail store selling foods, snacks, drinks and public transport passes (which itself is a public service) to a large, multi-level consumer electronics retailer selling phones and laptops that would involve demolishing an entire existing building to fit.

They're both commercial businesses, but worlds apart in the service they offer to the community. After all, it stands to reason that someone passing through Fed Square may want to recharge their public transport pass, or grab a snack. It offers a service to the members of the public already using the square.

There's no reason someone casually passing through Fed Square would suddenly need a new phone, or tablet, or computer so quickly that they couldn't wander a few blocks over to a store placed within a dedicated dense-commercial zoned district. That's the problem. The Apple Store doesn't need to be there. It could be anywhere else. Apple wants it there because it serves well for their brand image.

But Apple's brand image shouldn't take precedence over the wishes of the people of Melbourne on how their public space is used. The people should be allowed to formally have a say in the matter, and from what I understand both the Andrews government and Apple have so far denied them their right to do so.

Hopefully Fed Square receives permanent heritage protection status, if only to enforce due process and consultation on what should and shouldn't be constructed there.

But [USER=1138076]@first-to-tea[/USER] explained it better than I ever could, so anyone unaware of the situation should have a read of their post above.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...