Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally announced an official grand opening date for its long-delayed retail store in Brisbane, Australia. The new Apple Store is located in the historic MacArthur Chambers building in downtown Brisbane and will open its doors on January 17. Customers can already schedule a Genius Bar reservation through Apple’s website and various workshops and store events have also been posted.
Apple’s plans for the MacArthur Chambers Apple Store have been in the works for over two years. According to ifoAppleStore, plans for the store were first revealed in April of 2011, when the California-based company submitted a development application to the Brisbane City Council. The application included plans to incorporate the historic elements of the MacArthur Chambers building into an 18,000 square foot retail space spread over ground and mezzanine levels.
However, in November of 2012, Apple appeared to have suddenly stopped work on the project. Although no reason was ever given for the delay, there were rumors that it was related to the main contractor’s declaration of bankruptcy several months earlier.
In April of 2013, Apple was ordered by an Australian court to finish renovating the retail space inside the MacArthur Chambers building so the property could be leased to another tenant. Finally, in August of 2013, Apple submitted new blueprints that confirmed that the project was back on track. The new blueprints revealed a few minor changes to Apple’s original plans, including a cleaned up streetscape with two symmetrically aligned trees.
Like it has in other high-profile store locations, Apple has extensively renovated the historical building before introducing the typical Apple Store design elements. As noted by Apple Insider, the MacArthur Chambers building was once used as a base of operations for the Allies during World War II.
Like Apple’s iconic Apple Store located on New York’s Fifth Avenue, the MacArthur Chambers location will likely become Apple’s showcase retail store for the region. According to Apple’s website, this will be the twenty-first Apple Store to open in Australia. Australia’s Queensland state, where Brisbane is located, is already serviced by three other Apple Stores.
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