updated 08:14 pm EST, Fri January 10, 2014
Remodeled historic WWII building faced numerous setbacks
Delayed by over two years from its initial projected opening, a new flagship store in Brisbane, Australia is finally set to open on Friday, January 17. The latest Brisbane store is housed in the historic MacArthur Chambers building, which was used as a base of operations during World War II and named for General Douglas MacArthur. The project was once thought abandoned due to a contractor's bankruptcy filing and difficulty in approving renovations, but the obstacles were eventually overcome.
Construction was put on hold for a while in 2012 after a major contractor pulled out due to bankruptcy, but Apple submitted new plans last August that detailed changes to the exterior and interior of the aging building, which was constructed in 1934 in the English Renaissance style. Apple's intention in its plans had been to both modernize the structure but return its look to "closer to its original form." The building is a ten-storey structure with luxury apartments above the three floors Apple is using.
Hiring for the store began in early November, and the familiar Apple barricade identifying the nature of the renovation to the public went up at the very end of last year. It will be the third Apple store in Brisbane, and the new site may take the crown of Australia's largest Apple Store when it opens next Friday.