A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to stop the Yarra Building in Federation Square from being demolished for an Apple flagship store. The campaign, created by Our City, Our Square, aims to raise $40 million to “outbid Apple’s offer”.
Here’s the rub, though – the entire crowdfunding campaign is symbolic, and Our City, Our Square can’t “outbid” Apple or buy back the Yarra Building. The campaign is intended to show community support for Federation Square as it is, with the organisers promising not to collect on any pledged money.
The volunteer-run organisation has also pushed to have the building put on the Victorian heritage list, which they say is “likely to happen in April”.
The plans for an Apple store at Federation Square were announced in late 2017 and were met with backlash from the community. The proposed demolition of the Yarra Building would mean current tenants (like Koorie Heritage Trust) would need to be relocated.
The initial announcement stated that construction on the Apple building would start in 2019, with the store opening in 2020. There has been at least one public debate on the matter since the plans were announced, however, according to an article published by The Age in late 2018, the plans to build an Apple store at Fed Square are at least a year behind schedule.
If you want to donate to Our City, Our Square’s crowdfunding campaign you can do so via Pozible. You also have until the end of Wednesday, February 13, to make a submission to Heritage Victoria.