Why is Federation Square being changed?
Federation Square is a much loved public space, but it needs to keep up with the times and evolve as the city evolves. The Apple Global Flagship store will breathe new life into the square, and create a much better connection with the Yarra, bringing our river frontage to life.
This project will deliver nearly 500 square metres of new public space. It will connect the square to the Yarra River, and deliver a series of daily programs and activities that attract more visitors. This means more space in front of the big screen for major events and more people enjoying the best of Melbourne.
Isn’t this development just the corporatisation of public space?
Federation Square operates on a commercial model, and there are already a number of commercial organisations operating in the space.
All new commercial operations in Fed Square need to enhance the cultural life and amenity of the square and Apple’s proposal has aligned with this.
We want Fed Square to be the centre of innovation in Melbourne and Apple will help achieve this goal. Apple’s global flagship stores contribute to the cultural life of the cities they operate in, through daily programs of in store events and workshops featuring art, music, and learning exchanges.
How will an Apple Global Flagship Store benefit Victorians?
This will be the only new generation Apple store in Australia. It will be a major drawcard for tourists and locals and will offer an extended range of events and workshop, making Fed Square an even better place for locals and visitors to gather and celebrate.
Why isn’t this building in the same style as the other buildings in Fed Square?
We understand the great attachment the community feels to Fed Square and the concerns about change. We believe the additional public space and increased connection to the river are vital for the improvement of the square to our visitors.
The design deliberately maximizes visibility to the Yarra River. It has a smaller footprint than the current Yarra building and is only two stories high rather than three. The design will also enhance wheelchair access from the square to the Yarra River.
Fed 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.
What is happening to the Koorie Heritage Trust?
We are working with the Koorie Heritage Trust to relocate them to a better position in Federation Square at no cost to the Trust.
The Trust shares the view that relocating will cater for future growth through increased floor space, enabling an expansion of services and programs. Additional benefits include a dedicated entrance with increased signage and a refreshed space to reflect contemporary Victorian Aboriginal design.
The presence of the Apple Global Flagship Store will not impact on the delivery of the Trust’s many programs and services.
How much Government money will be spend on this project?
Government is not contributing any public funds into this development.
Why wasn’t the public given an opportunity to comment on the proposal before Government approval?
The Government has deemed this to be a project of state significance because of its wide-ranging social and economic benefits for Victoria and therefore the Minister for Planning exercised his powers to exempt a planning scheme amendment from public notice as it is in the broad interests of Victoria to do so.
The social and economic benefits the project will deliver to the Victorian public includes increased public space in the square and capacity for major events, a far superior connection between the square and the Yarra River precinct, an expected two million more visitors to the Square per year, greater tenancy exposure to new clientele, a commercially more secure Federation Square and hundreds of new local jobs.
The Ministerial process also enabled a timely decision to be made on the adoption and approval of the planning scheme amendment so that the project can be delivered within the period of the construction of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project. This will avoid a prolonged disruption within the Federation Square precinct.