Australian billionaire James Packer has suggested turning the proposed Queensbridge Hotel Tower in Melbourne into the country’s tallest building and connect it to the nearby Crown Casino And Entertainment Complex via a skybridge.
According to local media reports, the new plan for the $1.5 billion hotel and apartment development would see the structure rise to 323 meters, which would make it the tallest building in Australia and the southern hemisphere.
The revised plan, which must now be approved by state officials, would see the Queensbridge Hotel Tower offer a six-star hotel with 388 rooms alongside 708 apartments spread over 90 stories. When finished, the new structure would be slightly taller than the under-construction Australia 108 in Melbourne, which is envisioned to be 317 meters, as well as the 322.5-meter and 78-floor current record holder, the Queensland Number One tower on the Gold Coast.
Packer, who serves as Executive Chairman for casino operator Crown Resorts, declared that his project would contribute upwards of $3.1 billion a year to the city of 4.5 million people and has also asked that the development be exempt from the usual planning rules in exchange for agreeing to upgrade the nearby Queensbridge Square.
Crown Resorts is partnering with developer Schiavello for the project and stated in its planning application that the hotel tower would be a world-class landmark “internationally recognised as an icon of the Melbourne skyline and enhance the city’s recognition and appeal as a tourist destination.”
“The hotel will also feature an observation deck with rooftop dining, bar, wedding venue and gardens over multiple levels to provide the public and visitors with panoramic views of the Melbourne city skyline,” read a statement from Crown Resorts.