After more than two years of delays and rumours of cancellation, work on an $11.4 million Apple store in a Heritage Building in Brisbane's CBD is back on track.
Architects for the project have recently submitted blueprints and made revisions to an earlier plan, confirming in the process that the retail outlet will be located in the iconic MacArthur Chambers Building.
The English Renaissance-style heritage listed building is located on the northeast corner of Queen Street and Edward Street.
Revisions were filed last month and consist of a few minor changes to a back stairway, mezzanine wall and some window details.
The historic building is a significant heritage site in Brisbane, notable for its wartime association with General Douglas MacArthur, who used the building as the Allied forces’ South West Pacific Area Headquarters from July 1942 to November 1944.
Built between 1930 and 1934, the building was the Queensland headquarters of the AMP Society until 1977, when the organisation moved to another building. It became known as the MacArthur Chambers and has continued to be leased out as office space, a boutique hotel, and small shopfronts on the ground and basement floors.
The 10-storey building replaced the original three-storey building, which was also owned by the AMP Society and was originally constructed in the 1890s.
A representative feature of the building, as with all buildings owned by the AMP Society, is a three-figure statue above the portico entrance in the Queen Street façade, sculptured in Sicilian marble representing Strength, Plenty, Production and Growth.
The building, now known as MacArthur Central, and the surrounding sites were redeveloped in the 1990s and became part of an apartment and modern commercial shopping complex, boasting restaurants, a medical centre, a pharmacy, a newsagents, a department store and more than 40 specialty stores.
The new Apple store will include roughly 1,600 square metres of space on the ground floor and mezzanine levels. Some internal renovation and restoration work will be done, including to existing heavy bronze doors as well as the bronze windows in the main façade.
According to the latest revisions to the landscape plan, the project will remove a number of “distracting” structures on the sidewalk in front of the store, including a pedestrian bench and a tree that will be relocated to create symmetry with the main entrance.
Although the recent filing did not indicate a specific opening date, the new store is expected to be inaugurated in October 2013.