James Packer plans Australia’s newest tallest building

There could soon be a new tallest tower in Australia if plans for a $1.5 billion hotel and apartment complex gets the go ahead. One of Australia’s wealthiest men, James Packer has his heart set on building the tallest building in Australia, which will connect to the Crown Casino in Melbourne via a skybridge.

Currently, Australia’s tallest building is the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast, standing at 322 metres tall and completed in 2005. Q1 is also the sixth-tallest residential building in the world. Packer’s 90-level tower will rise to a height of 323 metres, which is four metres taller than the 108-apartments tower which is undergoing construction close by.

The Queensbridge Hotel Project will become Melbourne’s tallest tower, surpassing the Eureka Tower (297 metres) and Australia 108 (currently under construction) and is planned to be situated in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct. This project will include a six-star hotel of 388 rooms and 708 apartments, as well as enough parking for approximately 850 cars, and is joint venture between Crown and Schiavello Group.

One of the main features of this iconic development would be the pedestrian footbridge, which would link the new tower hotel with the Crown Casino itself. Crown has also asked that this proposal is exempt from the usual planning rules, due to being a project of state significance.

A spokeswoman for Victoria’s planning minister Richard Wynne stated that, “Crown’s application has been received and the minister will take the time needed to consider the proposal”.

The project would include a selection of one and two bedroom apartments with an average size of 184 square metres, which is much larger than the typical apartments you find within Melbourne’s city centre. Many of the one bedroom apartments are less than 50 square metres internally. The tower itself will also occupy a gross floor area of 306,666 square metres.

As part of the proposal, Crown has also promised to upgrade the nearby Queensbridge Square, allowing it to demonstrate that it is also delivering a community benefit.

Crown’s request – under a specific section of planning legislation – follows the same path it has taken with the original development of its Melbourne casino and subsequent expansions.

The casino operator plans to argue a planning waiver due to already contributing approximately A$3.1 billion annually to the state economy.

With people preferring to live closer to work and important amenities, we are sure to see taller skyscrapers in the future to house a growing population.

Sydney, only has 29 buildings planned that are more than 100 metres tall, due to the stricter height regulations in Sydney. Currently, the tallest building in Sydney is Chifley Tower, built in 1992 and stands at 244 metres, whilst Sydney’s tallest structure is the Sydney Tower at 309 metres. However, by 2019, Crown Sydney Hotel and Resort will become Sydney’s tallest building at 271 metres.
Published on 16th of May 2016 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich

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