After more than two years of planning and troubled construction work, Apple has decided to withdraw from its commitment to lease retail space inside the historic MacArthur Chambers building in city-center Brisbane (Australia), losing some part of the project’s $11.4 million cost. It’s the first post-construction Apple store abandonment to become public, and the first high-profile store cancellation ever. Tipsters who reported the remarkable decision were reluctant to divulge why it was made—for financial, engineering or other reasons. The project first became public in April 2011 when architectural drawings were submitted to city officials for approval. The plans showed the store covering over 18,000 square-feet on basement, ground-floor and mezzanine levels. Serviced apartments occupy the upper levels of the seven-story building. Like several other high-profile international stores, the project included both an extensive restoration of the 1934 heritage building, and then careful installation of the traditional Apple retail store interior elements. In February 2012 the primary contractor for the project filed for bankruptcy, temporarily stalling work. But within two months, construction on the building began anew. Since then, tipsters have repeatedly reported that the store’s grand opening was being pushed back. It’s not clear how much construction had been completed when the bail-out decision was made. Fortunately for Brisbane Apple customers, the region continues to be served by three retail stores. Download (pdf) the project’s construction plans and floor plans for a sense of the project’s scope.
Apple Abandons Australia Store Project
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