The store is now due to open its doors in 2021
Plans to demolish part of Australian landmark Federation Square in Melbourne to make way for a new Apple store designed by Foster + Partners have been pushed back by a year.
Federation Square’s annual report reveals construction is now a year behind the original schedule.
When announced last year, the project was expected to begin in early 2019, with the store to open in 2020. Now works will start in 2020 and the store open in 2021.
A move by heritage group Heritage Victoria to recommend the civic space be added to the heritage register is thought to have delayed the project.
Australia’s Heritage Council is still considering the recommendation, with submissions closing later this month.
The scheme has faced a public backlash since it was first announced in 2017, leading to Foster’s releasing a revised vision of the scheme in July.
Even if the city landmark is added to the register it would not stop the Yarra Building, the structure which will make way for the store, being demolished but could add an extra layer of difficulty for Apple.
On a positive note for the scheme, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, who was re-elected last week, told Melbourne-based newspaper The Age he still supported the project.
Andrews said: “My position has always been: ‘Do we really want this thing to go to Sydney and all the jobs and all the opportunities that come from it?’ That’s not my view.”
Despite this, two ministers who drove the Apple plan in Andrews’ first cabinet, John Eren and Philip Dalidakis, either quit or have been dumped to the backbench since the election.