SkyCity’s long-awaited $300 million redevelopment of of its Adelaide casino finally appears to be all-systems-go.

SkyCity Adelaide redevelopment back on track

A computer generation of the proposed SkyCity Adelaide revamp. After two years delay to negotiate parking spaces, of all things, the project is back in the driving seat. (image: SkyCity)

Just days after the board appeared cagey about the prospects of the luxury riverside project moving forward during its half-year earnings call, the Advertiser reports that the operator has struck a deal to lease crucial car parking space with property mogul Lang Walker, who is developing the adjacent Festival Plaza project.

SkyCity has been negotiating with Walker for the best part of two years, and parking has been a major sticking point in SkyCity’s plans, despite receiving official approval more than a year ago.

Put Up a Parking Lot

South Australia’s government has emphasized that it’s imperative the redevelopment poses minimal disruption to nearby facilities in the area, such as the Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide Oval.

As such, the casino was forced to depend on parking spaces being made available by the Walker Corporation and its $600 million revamp of the Plaza.

“As you’ll be aware, early works on the Riverbank Project have already started,” said SkyCity in a cautious official statement last week. “But as with any project worth $300 million, the board retains a very close interest to ensure it is value-enhancing for shareholders.

“We do remain hopeful, however, that the outstanding issues will be resolved shortly.”

Now it appears that SkyCity has secured 750 of the 1560 space car park, roughly the number it had been holding out for. It is understood work will start on the underground car park within months and it will be completed a year later.

VIP Spat

Now that this particular impediment has been removed, the redevelopment of SkyCity Adelaide should be ready to spring into life and should be completed by early 2020, two years later than initially had been hoped.

The casino expansion includes an 11-story tower with a luxury hotel, VIP gaming rooms and restaurants. The hotel will include 80 rooms overlooking the River Torrens and private gaming suites, as the company looks to lure more international high rollers to the property.

But the Advertiser also reported this week that these VIP gaming rooms have become the focus of disagreement between SkyCity and the South Australian government, which wants to impose a high level of scrutiny on its VIP operations.

The relationship between a casino and its high rollers is necessarily discreet and SkyCity argues that the proposed level of intrusion is higher than other states. The operator should be free to choose which high rollers to reward through its loyalty programs, it says.