Crown Resorts’ bid to build Australia’s tallest skyscraper will go ahead. The Victorian government rubber stamped the project, to be built next to the existing Crown Casino on Melbourne’s south bank, with Premier Daniel Andrews calling it “a bold transformation of Melbourne’s skyline.”
He’s not wrong; at 90 stories and 323 metres high, the six-star hotel will dominate the city’s landscape, eclipsing the nearby Eureka Tower by about 26 metres, and the proposed Australia 108 (just) by three metres.
And it will also pip Australia’s current tallest building, Queensland Number One, in Brisbane, by just 500cm, although that also includes Q1’s spire.
Height of Fashion
But as Andrews insisted, it’s not all about the height.
“[It’s also about] the quality of this design outcome, particularly the public realm benefits that will be accessible for all Victorians, really mark this out as a very, very special project,” he told The Australian. “This process has been careful [and] it has been considered.”
The $1.33 billion development, which will be named One Queensbridge, will boast 388 hotel rooms and 708 residential apartments. It will also feature a rooftop bar, restaurants, retail and office space.
Although it will offer no gaming, it will be connected to the existing Crown Casino via a footbridge.
Crown has said construction could begin as early as next year, with completion expected by the end of 2023.
And the project will proceed despite planning restrictions established by the Victorian government in 2015, which state that a building may not exceed a height that is 24 times the size of the plot it is built on.
An exception may be made, however, if the building is deemed to be of “state significance,” which is why planning minister Richard Wynne was eager to highlight the economic benefits of the development, which will be 56 times the height of its floor space.
Wynne said that One Queensbridge would contribute around $1.61 billion to the state economy, while developers Crown and Schiavello would pay an extra $76.57 million towards a community package for redevelopment of the local area. It will also create around 4,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
But Melbourne city Councillor Rohan Leppert from the Australian Greens said that the decision to give planning permission “makes a mockery” the of rules.
“Two solid years of research, policy work and public consultation on the new planning controls clearly count for very little when Crown comes knocking on the state government’s door!” Leppert complained to The Age.