The new tower will feature and airbridge that will connect the hotel to Crowns Casino. (image: theguardian.com)
James Packer, Australian billionaire and casino mogul who already owns Crowns Resort Casino in Melbourne is planning to add another brand to his portfolio and this time he is aiming really high. Actually, the new tower on the Queensbridge will be over 300 metres and 90-storey tall and it will cost around $1.5bn. British architects Wilkinson Eyre will design it to meet the needs of most spoiled customers. All they need now is the approval from the authorities.
The Queensbridge Hotel Tower is Crown’s attempt to attract VIP customers with its magnificent skyscraper, which is planned to be 317 metres high and that will make it “taller than Eureka Tower in Southbank, which is 297m high, and five metres shorter than the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast” as reported by Guardian. It is supposed to be built in cooperation with Schiavello Group that owns the land. The British Wilkinson Eyre Architects, who have also worked on Crown’s casino in Barangaroo in Sydney, have created a design that fits in Packer’s plans of creating a tourist attraction on Queensbridge Street. Their plan envisages a glass edifice of ninety storeys with around 388 rooms and 680 apartments and a restaurant which will be open for the public. A special feature planned as a part of the new tower will be a glass air bridge which would connect the new building to the Crown Casino. Therefore, the visitors will be able to go to the casino without leaving the hotel.
Waiting for Approval
Even though the plans sound magnificent, in reality they might be a little bit too high. First of all, federal government regulations do not allow constructing buildings higher than 300 metres due to flight path restrictions. Furthermore, the previous version of the tower which was several storeys shorter was declined because it would overshadow the Shrine of Remembrance as stated by Richard Wynne, Victorian Planning Minister earlier this year. According to Todd Nisbet, Chief of Crown’s strategy and design, the planning documents are supposed to be submitted to Victorian government and he hopes that they will get the answer early in 2016. Should all go according to plans and the project gets approval, the tower is planned to be completed in 2019 and it will employ more than 3000 people in the process.