Adelaide Casino To Be Transformed Into Golden Jewel

The Adelaide Casino is set to undergo a $350 million redevelopment that will transform it into a shiny golden building centred on a luxury hotel.

The casino’s parent company, SkyCity, has released plans prepared by the Buchan Group that include an 80-room hotel overlooking the River Torrens, gaming suites for international VIP players and signature restaurants.

Original plans were released by the Buchan Group in 2012 highlighted inclusions of rooftop lounge bar and pool, VIP villas and new restaurants and high end experiences in order to be a 6 star boutique hotel.

With the integration of notable public spaces such as the Festival Adelaide precinct and inclusion of entertainment facilities, Skycity’s Adelaide development aims to attract high value foreign and VIP market in order to mark Adelaide as a significant city.

The Adelaide casino is anticipated to do well by emphasising entertainment and luxury for its prospective customers as Skycity Group’s chief executive officer at the time, Nigel Morrison, reported an increase of 24.4% of revenue over the months of August- November 2015 with the introduction of signature restaurants Sean’s Kitchen and Madame Hanoi.

Despite the strong sales in the casino’s hospitality segment, the overall 2015 profits were down 19.2%.

In their annual report Skycity stated that the Adelaide casino development “is making good progress on the plans for the transformation of the Adelaide Casino into an integrated world-class entertainment destination, constructing a new boutique hotel, an expanded gaming podium and additional signature restaurants”.

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South Australia’s independent planning body, the Development Assessment Commission, has approved the proposed expansion of the Skycity Adelaide development, in spite of heritage concerns.

The Adelaide casino redevelopment is an 11-storey expansion that will occupy government-owned land bordering the Adelaide Festival Plaza, which is also undergoing a proposed redevelopment.

A $610 million plaza upgrade includes the 24-storey office tower, restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and a 1560-space underground car park.

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The Casino has secured a deal to buy the prized Riverbank land for the long-awaited expansion, which previously has been valued at $350 million and included 500 more poker machines and 110 extra gaming tables.

The glitzy design of the Adelaide casino redevelopment has the in-principle support of South Australia’s Government Architect.

According to the Development Assessment Commission’s report: “The proposal will provide uses that activate the public plaza with a 24/7 focus which will be a drawcard to the precinct.”

“In addition, the design incorporates active and visually permeable frontages at ground level which interact with the public realm.”

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However, the State Heritage Unit (SHU) has raised concerns in regards to the impact that the Adelaide casino development will have on the heritage settings: the Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Railway Station.

“The heritage advice is not supportive of the bulk and height of the new building,” the report read. “The SHU considers the proposal will adversely affect the setting of the Adelaide Railway Station and will significantly diminish the presence and setting of the Drama Centre.”

The Adelaide casino currently spans three floors of the historic Adelaide Railway Station.

The SHU is concerned with the character of the precinct will change with the introduction of 20 storey plus buildings stating that “The heritage impacts need to be balanced against the desired character of development envisaged in the entertainment Precinct and the Government’s future direction for uplift of the area.”

A condition of the approval requires SkyCity to produce details of “the proposed podium and entry link” before final Development Approval is granted.

According to the minutes of the DAC meeting, “the limited level of detailed design resolution at this planning application phase of the podium, and its materiality, means that several aspects of the design response important to the setting of the heritage place are yet to be resolved”.

The minutes also detailed that the Skycity Adelaide development, in conjunction with the Adelaide Riverbank Festival Plaza Precinct developments as “one of Adelaide’s most culturally and historically significant places, however is structurally difficult.”

Plans for the Adelaide casino’s redevelopment have been generally accepted by the Government Architect, including design and expression however, has requested additional information to be provided regarding the quality of the arrival experience to the Skycity Adelaide development relative to the adjacent public spaces, including material palette and lighting plan, particularly at concourse level below the plaza.

Construction on the expansion is set to begin by mid-2016.

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