The Victorian Government will launch a review into the future of Federation Square, following the determination from Heritage Victoria that the proposed Apple Store development could lead to “an unacceptable and irreversible detrimental impact on the cultural heritage significance of Federation Square.”
Apple and the Victorian Government have acknowledged that based on Heritage Victoria’s decision, the proposed Apple global flagship store cannot proceed.
“This decision gives us an opportunity to listen to people’s views about this important part of Melbourne,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “Between the Metro Tunnel, ACMI’s visionary redevelopment, our transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct and this review of Federation Square, we have a fantastic opportunity to consider how our public spaces and creative centres connect to each other.”
The decision, along with the construction of the new Town Hall Station entry and the redevelopment of ACMI provides an opportunity to re-think the future vision of the iconic precinct. The review will examine Federation Square’s financial and governance arrangements, ensuring that it continues to grow as an innovative and exciting place for our community.
Victorian Government Architect Jill Garner and former managing partner of Ernst and Young Tim Eddy will jointly chair the review, working closely with the Chair of the Federation Square board.
The review will tap into the vision Victorians and the very best urban design minds have for Melbourne’s public square – considering ways to deliver more public space, encourage public gatherings and provide better access to the Yarra River. It will also look at ways to take better advantage of nearby creative and sporting precincts and new transport links.
Victorians will get a chance to have their say on the future of Federation Square, with public consultation to take place as part of the review, which will be completed by the end of 2019. The Koorie Heritage Trust will be able to remain in the Yarra Building while the review is undertaken. The Trust’s plan for relocation within the site will form part of the review.
“The review will examine how Federation Square looks, how it’s funded and how it operates so that it continues to stand out as an iconic Melbourne attraction that is enjoyed by not only Melburnians but people from all over the world,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula.
“Since it’s opening in 2002, Federation Square has hosted creative events and world leading attractions. The review will ensure this much-loved space can thrive as a civic, cultural and commercial hub for years to come.”
Image: Artist Impression of Apple’s proposed development at Federation Square (supplied)