ASX-listed casino operator Crown Resorts has unveiled early images for Sydney's first six-star hotel and its serviced apartments at Crown Residences, a controversial $2.4 billion development at One Barangaroo next to Darling Harbour.
Spearheaded by billionaire James Packer, the harbour-front project, which is quickly taking shape, will eventually reach 275 metres—making it the tallest hotel in Sydney.
Crown's resort and casino tower is designed by WilkinsonEyre, a London firm. The interiors have been being designed by Meyer Davis, a New York firm that specialises in hotels and restaurants.
Across the tower's 72 floors will be 82 apartments overlooking the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and a 349-room, six-star hotel.
The hotel will sit above the building's entrance, rising from level 6 to 32 with its “sky villas”, reserved for the casino's high-rolling guests, located higher up the tower between levels 67 and 69.
Apartments ranging from two to six bedrooms in size will be located between levels 33 to 63, with the building's oval-shaped two-storey penthouse to be located seven storeys from the top, holding a rumoured $100 million price tag.
Crown Resorts largest shareholder James Packer paid $60 million for two floors in the tower with interior designer Blainey North working up designs to customise the apartment.
Veteran venture capitalist Bob Blann reportedly to have paid more than $40 million for an entire floor apartment on level 61.
Apartment residents will have access to the same services and amenities of the hotel from having their bed linen changed and fridges stocked before returning from a long trip to valet parking and the concierge at call.
Crown Sydney chief operating officer Peter Crinis said the company had worked with leading international design teams to create something truly unique for Sydney.
“[The building is]... international in feel, but celebrating the beauty of Sydney and its surrounds in its execution.”
The tower will also boast a private gym, open-air tennis court, premium gaming areas, spiral staircase, and a custom-made glass chandelier in the lobby made with 396 crystal-clad blades.
At ground level there will be an offering of signature restaurants, premium gaming areas and a lavish spa accessible to the public.
Within the casino there will be strictly no pokies, only table games like baccarat, blackjack, and roulette to enhance the VIP nature of the tower.
Architects WilkinsonEyre designed the building to hold 8,000 glass panels, all individually cut and unique in their size, to allow all rooms to maintain floor to ceiling windows to “frame the views of Sydney’s most iconic harbour-side landmarks”.
The casino provider believed it had paid a price for the property that included an exclusive view of the harbour.
Crown alleged that the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA), run by the New South Wales government, took bids from other companies for taller buildings that would hinder the Crown tower view.
Last year, Crown and developer Lendlease settled an appeal from Infrastructure New South Wales out of court, over the development authority’s challenge to a NSW Supreme Court ruling in favour of the property developer.
The development remains on track to deliver the new hotel by the first half of the 2021 financial year, with the hotel tipped to be operating by December of this year.
Property developer Lendlease is also pushing ahead with its own luxury units. The company is building three high-rises in the One Sydney Harbour precinct.
Two main towers, soaring 71 storeys and 60 storeys, have been designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, and will comprise 624 units. A third tower will rise 29 storeys and include about 151 units.
Chinese-backed developer Aqualand also has luxury apartments planned for its towers in Barangaroo Central after buying out fellow consortium members Grocon and Oxford Properties.