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Australia-Packer changes plans for Barangaroo

By - 3 August 2012

In clearing a major obstacle in his pursuit of being able to operate a new boutique casino in Barangaroo in Sydney, Crown Gaming’s James Packer has brought new plans to market, pushing the project 100 miles south.

The Executive Chairman of Crown announced the new location as he signed a billion dollar construction deal with developer Lend Lease to build a A$1bn ‘world class international hotel resort’ with 350 rooms at Barangaroo South. The proposal for Barangaroo Central had met with opposition. Whilst Crown and Lend Lease will work together to finalise the plans, the focus is clear; Asian high-rollers. As such the six star hotel features high-roller gaming salons and a larger VIP gaming room with several Asian-theme restaurants, resort facilities (including a luxury pool deck) and a connection to a potential conference centre that could serve as an events location for the complex.

The property is expected to be located on a site to be agreed with the Government on the north west corner of Barangaroo South, adjacent to Sydney Harbour and Barangaroo Central.

The hotel resort will feature an iconic design, which will involve an international expert advisory panel.

Mr. Packer, said: “Sydney deserves one of the world’s great hotels on its magnificent harbour.  My desire is for Crown to build the best hotel in the world at Barangaroo.  Crown’s record demonstrates we can deliver a centrepiece that will draw millions of tourists. A Crown integrated resort at Barangaroo would boost the economy, create thousands of new jobs, contribute significant tax revenues to the State Government and enhance the overall attractiveness of Sydney as a first class international tourist destination.”

Mr Packer said that a VIP gaming facility would be necessary to provide the commercial underpinning for any development and for the operation of a world class six star hotel resort.  The ability to operate a VIP gaming facility at the new hotel resort is subject to New South Wales Government and gaming regulatory approvals.

“Barangaroo is a landmark development for Sydney and will transform the western corridor of the CBD.

Crown is delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of Barangaroo and we look forward to working with

Lend Lease to bring the internationally recognised Crown brand to Sydney,” he added.  “I want to build the best hotel in the world. That’s going to cost a billion dollars. A hotel in Sydney will make $20m a year. That doesn’t pay for a billion dollars – you need something to fund it.”

Mr. Packer is in talks with Echo Entertainment, the operator of Sydney’s The Star and holder of the monopoly casino licence in Sydney, for a VIP casino joint venture with Crown at Barangaroo.

Crown has a 10 per cent share in Echo and is waiting for approval to double this stake with some analsysts saying an outright purchase would open the door to the development in Barangaroo.

“It would be my preference to do this in partnership with Echo,” Mr. Packer added.

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