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Australia – The Star to launch competition to find new hotel architect

By - 20 September 2016

The Star Entertainment Group has unveiled an architectural design competition to provide Sydney with another world-class hotel at its Pyrmont property.

The tower project, pending all necessary approvals, would be contained within the existing footprint of The Star Sydney and include a six-star hotel component to be operated by The Ritz-Carlton. The Star Entertainment Group has engaged its partners in the $3bn Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development, Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, to joint venture on the Sydney plans.

The tower would feature more than 220 premium hotel rooms and around 150 residences. Three leading architectural firms with local and international credentials are contesting the right to create the tower design which, in addition to the hotel and residential components, will include further works to connect the hotel to the existing property. This section of the development will feature food and beverage options plus a number of other attractions. The aim of the design excellence process is to encourage innovation, best practices and the highest standards of build to ensure a truly iconic hotel development that contributes positively and authentically to the overall architectural quality of the city while also achieving environmentally sustainable outcomes.

The winning architect will be asked to take community views into consideration before a final design is submitted as part of the project’s planning approvals process during FY2017. The investment in the tower, and the associated works to provide connectivity to the existing property and increase available amenities including food and beverage, will be up to $500m. This is in addition to the $500m worth of upgrades and improvements underway and in planning at The Star Sydney. These include the comprehensive refurbishment of rooms at the Astral Tower and Residences, the opening of the Harvest Buffet restaurant, work on the arrivals area, and upgrading internal spaces, including VIP facilities.

“Tourism, especially from Asia, is a huge, long term growth driver for Australia,” said Matt Bekier, The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director & CEO. “Sydney needs more quality hotels, and exciting entertainment and hospitality infrastructure to win its share of that growth.

“Our development concept will take The Star’s room inventory to more than 1,000, bring The RitzCarlton brand back to Sydney, and add a further 20 food and beverage venues,” he added. “It will allow us to really enhance and increase our contribution to Sydney’s tourism offering. “Our approach, featuring the design competition and community engagement, will enable us to develop an integrated resort on our site that truly reflects the unique character of our city, and provide an attraction that all of Sydney can enjoy and be proud of.

“The international calibre and local credentials of our architects will ensure that The Star can showcase its home-grown Sydney character in world-leading ways that befit our city’s global status.

“We are also pleased that Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium will be partnering with us on this project. “The expertise and experience they bring in the development sector is invaluable, along with their ability to help drive the appeal of our properties in key tourism source markets such as China.” Greg Hawkins, Managing Director, The Star Sydney, said: “In NSW, The Darling at The Star is one of the few five-star hotels to have been built in this State since the end of the 2000 Sydney Olympics and we are now looking to add another world-class offering with The Ritz-Carlton. Combined with the complete upgrade of the Astral Tower and Residences, we will have hotel rooms and residences of the highest quality to be enjoyed by local visitors, intrastate and interstate tourists, and international guests.”

The hotel and residence development can be commenced immediately on receipt of all necessary approvals, with a build time estimated at 30 to 36 months.

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