James Packer‘s Crown Resorts has re-launched its plans for a 90-storey hotel tower at Melbourne’s Southbank area in a bid to lure a greater share of big-spending gamblers and tourists to its resorts by 2020.
The tower, comprising a 388-room hotel and 680 apartments, will be built in a joint venture with property developers Schiavello Group, which controls the land. The project is set to cost $1.5b, taking the casino operator’s global spending plans beyond $10b over the next decade.
The lead architect on Crown’s hotel and casino in Sydney’s Barangaroo, British firm Wilkinson Eyre, will design the Queensbridge tower and precinct to be located near Crown’s existing Melbourne casino complex. Once completed, Crown will have more than 2,000 guest rooms and suites in its Melbourne casino precinct, adding 3,000 jobs during construction, and 1,000 permanent positions after completion.
“The development will…assist Melbourne in attracting more high net worth tourists, reinforcing the city’s appeal as a destination for important international conferences, sport and cultural events,” said Crown Resorts chief executive Rowen Craigie.
The proposed project is still subject to planning approval, financing and the final documentation between Crown and Schiavello.
A spokeswoman for Victoria’s Planning Minister Richard Wynne said that the minister has flagged the need for more hotel accommodation in Melbourne and has approved about 1,400 new hotel rooms this year.
Crown is also expanding hotel accommodation at its Perth casino resort, with its $645m Crown Towers featuring 50 luxury hotel rooms, private gaming salons and other facilities. It also plans to build a luxury six-star hotel and VIP-only casino at Barangaroo South in Sydney’s central business district.
Crown has been upgrading its hotel and gaming facilities in Australia to stay competitive with upmarket casino resorts in Macau and Singapore in attracting high-rolling VIP gamblers, especially from China.