It has been a long time coming, but Crown Resorts is finally able to start construction on its high roller casino in Barangaroo. The casino operator has received approval from the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), so long as a few modifications are made to the design of Crown Barangaroo.
The PAC has required Crown to widen the promenade to 30m and increase the size of Hickson Park in order to make it into a more ‘inviting, quality green space’. The commission has also asked for Crown to increase the amount of key worker housing on site from 2.3% to 3%.
Despite all of the changes, the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) is not particularly pleased with the approval of Crown Barangaroo. This is because the AIA backed number of other changes that were recommended earlier this year, which Crown Resorts negotiated against. It was suggested that Crown make more room for more public domain along the tower by reducing the size of its podium. In response, Crown refused to make this change but instead offered to redesign Watermans Cove.
Shaun Carter, Chapter President of the AIA, has criticised the approval of the project saying:
““What happened today was the people of Sydney lost a public park on the harbour foreshore. Forever. Instead, they [will] get a 36 metre podium on which a 275m tower will sit, obstructing access and views to the real icon of Sydney, the harbour”.
Now, the construction process can begin. Robert Ranking, Chairman of Crown Resorts, is eager to get started so that the new Crown Barangaroo casino will be able to open its doors to the public by 2021. The local community will stand to benefit for a number of reasons, such as boosting tourism and creating jobs.