updated 09:10 pm EDT, Fri April 29, 2011
Would be largest store in Australia
Plans for a renovation of the historic MacArthur Chambers in Brisbane may have revealed a forthcoming Apple Retail store, continue the company's interest in locating some "showcase" stores in historic buildings. Although Apple is not directly mentioned in the application, telltale signs in the application -- including twin glass stores, a "feature staircase" and revamped interior in "shades of white" tipped off alert MacTalk readers. If approved, the store would be the largest in Australia, even surpassing Apple's flagship store in Sydney.
The application, filed by the MacArthur Central Shopping Centre, shows that the unnamed tenant plans to spend nearly $4 million renovating the building to return it "closer to its original form." The building was originally built in 1934 in the English Renaissance style, and became historically important in 1942 when American general Douglas MacArthur commandeered the building to serve as the Allied Forces' southwest headquarters. The building was used in this capacity for over two years until November of 1944.
While none of the other 10 existing Apple Stores in Australia feature historical renovation, the company has been known to open stores in classic buildings in other countries, including the Regent Street store in London, England, and one opposite the historic Opera de Paris in France. The MacArthur Chambers building is currently being occupied by a discount bookseller in the area Apple would use (with luxury apartments in the upper floors), but once approved the site could complete renovations in approximately three months, making it possible that the rumored Apple Store could open before the end of the year. [via MacTalk]