James Packer’s Crown Resorts has pushed hard to speed up its Barangaroo casino project in Sydney as the Australian billionaire has made it clear that this project holds a special place in his heart. James Packer’s father Kerry Packer always wanted to establish a casino in Sydney and James wants the Barangaroo casino to be a tribute to his late father.
The Barangaroo casino project is estimated to cost around $2 billion and will be one of the biggest projects in the state of New South Wales. The project will consist of a casino covering 275 metres, an apartment tower and a hotel all located on the waterfront and be about 30 metres away from the harbour.
A number of well known architects in Sydney recently met with the NSW Planning Assessment Commission to oppose the Barangaroo casino project stating that it would spoil the views of the legendary Opera House and the foreshore promenade. The architects called on the commission to stop the project and stated that the planning has not been done properly as it puts the public domain at a disadvantage in order to grant Crown Resorts the liberty of building its $2 billion casino resort.
The Planning Assessment Commission had earlier termed the building as an ‘iconic building’ and need to make a final decision in order to provide Crown Resorts with the green light to proceed. The Barangaroo casino project is expected to create thousands of part time construction jobs and later thousands of permanent jobs once the casino goes live. The city of Sydney is also expected to benefit from the amount of gambling taxes the casino will generate and also an increase in tourism as both domestic and international tourists are expected to visit the Barangaroo casino.
Graham Jahn, who is the head of planning at the City of Sydney used montages to highlight to the commission a possible solution for the project to proceed without hindrance. Jahn depicted how the casino tower could be pushed back into the built portion of the Barangaroo, similar to what the casino designers had earlier proposed.
Shaun Carter, president of the NSW Australian Institute of Architects, stunned the commission into silence when he summed up the big picture by putting things into perspective.
In a statement, Carter said “You are the last check and balance for the people in this process. Now, it is up to you to protect the public’s interest. I for one don’t want to be remembered as the people that chose a private exclusive casino over a harbour-side public park. A park that will live on perpetuity … that will be a gift to this city, a gift for our children and our children’s children.”