There’s great news for Echo Entertainment Group this week as the company wins the $2 billion bid against James Packer’s Crown Resorts to build Brisbane’s Casino resort along Queen’s Wharf precinct which will totally transform the Brisbane CBD.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Echo Entertainment as the state government’s choice, who happen to own Brisbane’s only casino, to help fuel Brisbane’s economic growth.
According to Ms Palaszczuk, “This development will transform Brisbane’s CBD. Construction means thousands of jobs. Some 3,000 during construction and 8,000 ongoing jobs”.
She also stated that Echo really stood out from its competitor, Crown due to its better use of public space, which would challenge the South Bank Parklands on the opposite side of the Brisbane River and because the consortium was able to start immediately.
“The consortium was able to demonstrate to government that they were ready to proceed,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Echo is developing the project with Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, both based in Hong Kong and together they are known as the Destination Brisbane consortium. Echo will be in charge of running the resort, whilst its partners will be responsible for the residential part of the project.
Construction is forecast to start in late 2016/2017 and will take anywhere from six to 10 years to complete.
So what will Echo’s Casino development include?
As well as Echo Entertainment building a brand new casino facility, it will be relocating its Treasury casino and its 1,600 poker machines to the new facility. Echo also intends to transform the existing Treasury building into a shopping centre and Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Echo also plans to build:
- 2,500 brand new apartments
- A Sky Deck home to restaurants and bars which are fully accessible to the public
- Five hotels, of which three are six-star hotels (including Ritz-Carlton and Rosewood), fifty restaurants and bars
- River Arena and a moonlight cinema, showcasing a spectacular light and water show playing several times every night
- A new lyric theatre at QPAC
- 12 football fields of public event space
- New cross-river bridge to link Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens to South Bank
The whole casino resort development will stretch across 10 blocks from Queen Street to Alice Street and is set to totally transform the area from George Street to the river and providing a new lease of life to the CBD and Brisbane River precinct.
From the start, Echo has been the favourite to win and will even be relocating its headquarters from Sydney to Brisbane if it did win the bid. Echo also already holds Brisbane’s existing casino licence at Treasury casino, whilst Crown’s proposal mainly relied on buying up poker machine licences from Queensland clubs and pubs which was opposed by the club’s representative body, Clubs’ Queensland.
Matt Bekier, Echo Entertainment Group Managing Director and Chief Executive said, “By relocating the existing casino, and transforming Brisbane’s heritage Treasury Casino buildings into a premium shopping experience and a new six-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel, DBC’s proposal connects and activates the whole precinct with Southbank, Queen Street Mall and the CBD”.
“By using the whole precinct, we have been able to provide real connectivity to the rest of the city, making sure that this really becomes the new heart of the CBD. And of course Destination Brisbane Consortium’s scheme does not require an additional casino in the precinct,” Bekier said.
This casino resort development will be the largest infrastructure project announced in Queensland during Labor’s first term and is expected to create thousands of jobs in Brisbane’s already busy construction market.
Brisbane is seeing plenty of development and construction work happening across the city at the moment and has been highlighted as the next place to buy property, with Sydney and Melbourne sitting at the top of the property market. This new casino resort will make Brisbane a much more appealing place to live and visit, becoming more of a tourist destination and Mr Bekier also commented that, “Echo Entertainment Group will have more business and more staff in Queensland than anywhere else in the world when Queen’s Wharf opens”.
Published on 21st of July 2015 by Marty Stanowich