Apple's move to extend its reach and influence in the Australian market may seem admirable. For some local residents, however, the tech giant's latest attempt at expansion in the country does not seem to sit all too well.
According to a report from The Guardian, the imminent construction of a new Apple Store in Melbourne's Federation Square has drawn strong criticism from residents. The locals said that the area should only be house public events, as well as cultural institutions like the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, both of which, are situated in the square.
Locals have been vocal on Twitter, expressing their disdain for the creation of an Apple Store in the area. Twitter user Tim Richards posted, "I'm up to join the resistance to this appalling handover of Fed Square civic space to @Apple." Another user @bcmc89 wrote, "I'm all for capitalism, but this Apple Store at Fed Square business is a joke. No thanks."
In addition, ABC reported that Melbourne Greens state MP Ellen Sandell echoed the public's concern. "Victorians will rightly be asking themselves why this Labor Government continually lets our public space be taken over by corporations and private developers, said Sandell. "We don't know what deals or incentives were done here."
On the flipside Prof. Donald Bates, lead architect for Federation Square, defended the project, noting the numerous benefits it will bring to the community. "Apple Federation Square respects and expands on the original vision for the site, with more public space, extensive landscaping and better access to the river allowing more people to enjoy this renowned civic, cultural and commercial hub," said Bates.
The three-story Yarra building standing on the southern part of the Federation Square is scheduled to be demolished and replaced by a two-story Apple concept store. The Victorian government projected that an estimated two million additional visitors will troop to the square once the Apple Store goes up and running.