After a long and heated battle by art deco preservationists in Melbourne (Australia), Victoria state officials have given the owner of the Lonsdale House permission to demolish the five-story building and widen an adjacent street by 13 feet to accommodate delivery trucks that might be servicing a future Apple store. The “Save Lonsdale House” group said the building was not only an excellent example of a classic architectural style, but promoted it as, “a chance for Melburnians to stand up for our community rights in the face of developers and the government.” However, critics said the original building at 269-273 Lonsdale Street in city center had been remodeled twice in the 1930s, diluting its historic significance. Now, with approval in-hand, property manager Colonial Global Asset Management says it’s soliciting tenants for the store, and confirms that it’s been in talks with Apple to lease space, possibly on the first two levels as shown in a speculative rendering of the future building. However, Darren Steinberg of Colonial Global says no leases have been signed for any tenants. The project with 240 stores could be completed by late 2012, he says.
The Victoria Heritage Council declined to register Lonsdale House as an historic building last March. Download (pdf) their decision. That decision led to Victoria Planning Minister Justin Madden approving the new project on July 27th. Download the planning approval (in the form of an amendment to existing law).
Here is the building as it appears now…
This elevation rendering of the project shows an Apple logo on the right side (larger size).
This rendering distinctly shows an Apple store on the ground floor.
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