An effort to block the Andrews government’s deal with Apple to build a store in Melbourne, Australia’s Federation Square has failed in parliament, clearing the way for the controversial retail development, reports The Age.
In February it was reported that the “Pizza Hut pagoda” design of the store had been “overwhelmingly been rejected by the community,” with the Melbourne City Council receiving about 800 submissions rejecting the design. There was a motion by Councillor Rohan Leppert to lobby the government for a new design for the store and public consultation.
Apple has three existing Melbourne stores, but they are based in Chadstone, Doncaster and Southland shopping centres. None are in the central city shop like its flagship Sydney locations, one in George Street and the other at Bondi Junction.
However, Apple has been in “lengthy and secretive” negotiations with Federation Square’s management and the state government to take over and demolish the Yarra building in Federation Square. The Cupertino, California-based company plans to replace the unique “deconstructivist” metal building with a new $50 million see-through glass structure.
Apple plans to open the store ahead of the Christmas trading period in 2020. The government says the project will create 250 construction jobs and 200 ongoing jobs.