Australia

Crown to build hotels at Barangaroo and Perth

LEND Lease last week announced it has signed an exclusive dealing agreement with Crown Limited in relation to the development of a world class international hotel resort at Barangaroo South, while Crown also announced it will develop a new luxury hotel at its Burswood integrated resort.

The agreement for the Barangaroo hotel provides Crown with the right to work exclusively with Lend Lease for a period of up to 24 months to reach agreement on certain key milestones for the hotel resort and to obtain the necessary development approvals for the project.

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel.

Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location, which is expected on the north-west corner of Barangaroo South, adjacent to Sydney Harbour and Barangaroo Central.

According to Crown, the "world class, six star hotel resort" will feature an iconic design, involving an international expert advisory panel.

"Sydney deserves one of the world's great hotels on its magnificent harbour. My desire is for Crown to build the best hotel in the world at Barangaroo," said the Executive Chairman of Crown, James Packer.

Mr Packer said that Crown is currently considering the options to incorporate a VIP only gaming facility at the hotel resort, adding that such a facility would be necessary to provide the commercial underpinning for any development and for the operation of a world class six star hotel resort.

In Perth, Crown said it has shown its long term commitment to the city, with its decision to undertake the development of a new six star, 500-room, luxury hotel to be known as Crown Towers Perth. It will also include restaurants, bars and resort and convention facilities.

The total investment in the Crown Towers project (inclusive of land) is expected to be $568 million, adding to the suite of hotel accommodation already available at Burswood Entertainment Complex (to be rebranded Crown Perth).

The development of the new hotel will take Crown Limited's investment in the Burswood complex, to over $1.3 billion dollars since acquisition in 2004. In addition to the total cost of acquiring Burswood of almost $900 million, Crown's total investment in Perth will now exceed $2.2 billion.

Upon completion, Crown Towers Perth will be the largest hotel in Perth and will take hotel room capacity at Burswood to nearly 1,200 rooms. Construction is expected to commence in early 2013 and is expected to take approximately 3 years to complete.

Burswood has reached agreement in principle to pay the State Government $60 million to acquire the land for the development of the hotel, which still requires various regulatory approvals.

As part of the agreement, the government has agreed not to oppose an application for 500 additional gaming machines and 130 additional gaming tables, including new private gaming salons.

The additional gaming products will be rolled out over the next five years but are subject to the approval of the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia.

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