Apple Global Flagship Store

Federation Square is set to embrace the Yarra riverside precinct through the development of an Apple Global Flagship Store at Federation Square. The development is expected to energise Fed Square by creating additional public space, delivering more visitors and events to Victoria, and creating hundreds of local jobs.

Project benefits

Economic

  • The development will create more than 250 construction jobs and more than 200 new ongoing jobs at the store once complete.
  • Existing Federation Square tenants and surrounds will benefit from the increased economic activity that an additional two million visitors will bring to the precinct each year, with 30 per cent of these to come from overseas and 20 per cent from interstate. 
  • Private sector investment will complete the dismantling of the existing building, construction of the new store and construction of all new landscaping between the Square and the improved riverside precinct.
  • Federation Square management secures a major anchor tenant on a long-term lease.

Social

  • The redevelopment will provide for over 500 square metres of additional public open space within Federation Square and a further 3,400 square metres of improved public space between the Square and the Yarra riverfront.
  • Apple's Global Flagship Stores employ a dedicated events team offering a program of up to 70 events per week all free to the public.
  • The new store will provide opportunities for Federation Square's arts and cultural tenants to collaborate with Apple on new media art events and programs in the Square.
  • Federation Square's arts and cultural tenants will be exposed to potential new patrons through the expected two million additional people that will come to Federation Square to visit the Apple store.

Education

  • The Apple store will operate free weekly programs for both teachers and students providing education on how to use technology for teaching and learning and creating engaging classroom experiences.
  • 'Today at Apple' provides free diverse hands on educational sessions to help people and groups connect with one another, explore new passions (such as photography, sketching, creating music and coding) and take their skill to the next level.

The Global Flagship Store will replace the existing Yarra Building which was originally designed and built as a late addition to Federation Square.  The Yarra Building itself has always provided a hard-physical barrier between Federation Square and the Yarra riverside with access between them limited and exposure to the Square from the riverside effectively non-existent.

The new building will address these limitations with a much smaller footprint than the existing Yarra Building and transparent glazed facades, which also expose the Square to the riverside.  The result is an increase of over 500 square metres of new public space within Federation Square and a further 3,400 square metres of redeveloped public space along the Yarra riverfront.

Extensive new landscaping between Federation Square and the riverside will include new disabled access, event spaces, outdoor shaded areas, trees and the introduction of grass for the first time at Fed Square to allow city workers and visitors to enjoy the expansive river views.

Overall, the development will mean more room in front of the new big screen for major events and a better connection with the Yarra that will bring Melbourne's river frontage to life and make it an even more integral part of our city.

Construction is set to begin next year after the Koorie Heritage Trust moves from the Yarra Building to a dedicated site within the main Alfred Deakin Building in the Square (accommodating the needs of the Trust for a larger floor area for its services and programs).

The Apple development and landscaping improvements for the Square will be completed in 2020 with the store expected to open in mid-2020.

Securing Apple is part of a broader strategy to reinvigorate Federation Square, following the recent announcement of new LED screens to create one of the world's first outdoor digital art galleries.

Apple's investment at Federation Square will be its first Global Flagship store in the southern hemisphere, the second outside the United States, and the fifth worldwide. 

Decision Process

The Minister for Planning utilised his powers under Section 20 (4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which enables the Minister to exempt a planning scheme amendment from public notice on the basis that it is in the interests of Victoria.

This is the case with the Apple development given the wide-ranging social and economic benefits that it will deliver for Victoria as expressed above.

It is not an unusual process for the Minister for Planning to utilise this power with more than 100 cases of this power being used per annum by the Government (as was also the case also with the previous government).

The Government's process for considering the development proposal included drawing on the professional advice of the Victorian Government Architect regarding potential change within Federation Square and design consideration of the proposal.  The Victorian Government Architect is supportive of the proposed redevelopment of the Square.

The Government also engaged with Professor Donald Bates, original Federation Square design partner, to understand his views and to incorporate his feedback in consideration of the proposed design.

The Minister for Planning's amendment requires Apple to undertake design refinement and provides for consultation with Melbourne City Council in determining an appropriate final design prior to any development works in the Square.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the design development process.

Visit Planning Schemes Online, Amendment C314 to find out more or Federation Square. Visit Apple's newsroom.