VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews last week joined Planning Minister Richard Wynne to announce planning approval for Crown Melbourne's new six-star hotel – a 90-storey tower that will feature 388 hotel rooms, visitor attractions and 708 residential apartments.
Mr Andrews and Mr Wynne described the project as one of true state significance that will result in Melbourne becoming home to Australia's tallest tower, and create 3,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and a further 1,000 ongoing operational jobs.
The project – which is known as 'One Queensbridge' and estimated to deliver $2.1 billion worth of economic benefits for Victoria – will also include a $100 million 'community benefits package', consisting of:
- A $25 million upgrade to Queensbridge Square, including landscaping and two new cafes;
- A further $15 million for the Sandridge Rail Bridge;
- Landscaping and public realm improvements on Southbank Boulevard, including a new bike strip; and
- Street furniture and additional trees along Queensbridge Street, and better connectivity with Freshwater Place.
The tower's design was subject to an international design competition, won by the firm WilkinsonEyre. The British-based architectural firm is also the designer of the $1 billion Crown Sydney Hotel Resort at Barangaroo, which is due to open in early 2021.
The Melbourne project remains subject to financing and agreements between Crown Resorts Limited and joint venture partner Schiavello Group.