Crown Resorts’ plans to build Australia’s tallest building in Melbourne are on hold after the Victorian government turned down its request to delay the start of construction.
The state government approved the $1.75 billion, 90-storey Queensbridge hotel tower two years ago, with construction slated to start by this month.
Crown and joint-venture partner Schiavello Group applied in February for a planning extension while they obtained financing, but the casino operator on Monday said it has been informally notified that the request has been rejected.
Crown Resorts and Schiavello will now have to seek fresh planning approval if they want to press ahead with a tower that would top Q1 in Surfers Paradise as Australia’s tallest building.
Crown said it will look at its options.
‘Crown retains a 50 per cent ownership interest in the land and will consider the next steps for the property in conjunction with Schiavello,’ Crown said in a statement.
The mammoth skyscraper was one of the projects on which Crown said it was focusing after pulling out of Macau in mid-2017.
The hotel tower adjacent to the Crown Melbourne complex would contain a 388-room six-star hotel and about 700 luxury apartments.
Crown said the build would take Crown Melbourne’s capacity to approximately 2,000 hotel rooms and claimed it support local tourism.
As part of the development, the government had committed $100 million to public spaces, including upgrades to Queensbridge Square, Sandridge Bridge and Southbank Boulevard.
A government spokesperson said it had supported the project as being of state significance but that, because the initial planning consent required ministerial intervention, new reasons were required to approve the request for extra time.
‘Under the relevant planning laws there was insufficient justification for that request,’ the spokesperson said.
At 1300 AEDT, Crown Resorts shares were 16 cents, or 1.4 per cent, higher at $11.71.