Crown Resorts is paying Schiavello Group approximately $80 million for a half-share of Southbank’s One Queensbridge Street development site.
Crown already controls the other half interest in the land – sites actually between 1 and 29 Queens Bridge Street.
The casino operator, under the control of James Packer, with Schiavello Group, sought in 2017 to replace the prominent riverside holding with a 90-level building containing 388 six-star hotel suites and 708 apartments.
The end value of the proposed redevelopment, branded One Queensbridge (artist’s impression, top), was speculated to be about $1.75 billion.
The tower would have been the tallest in Australia soaring 323 metres – some 26 metres higher than the nearby Eureka.
However construction funding woes and a slow-down in off-the-plan apartment sales meant Crown and Schiavello Group never started building.
In February, Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne denied a permit extension.
The 5059 square metre site is strategic for the casino, being opposite the Crown Towers Hotel.
It includes a historic component: 1-7 Queens Bridge Street was once the Fall’s Bridge Hotel, later renamed the Queens Bridge Hotel, then QBH.
The Schiavello family said it purchased the hotel in 2010 to occupy as a furniture showroom, however a year later it employed architects Bates Smart to design a 71-storey apartment tower for it.
In results announced as part of earning reporting this week, Crown Resorts said it “has reached agreement to purchase the Schiavello Group’s 50 per cent interest in the (1-29 Queens Bridge Street) site as well as all pre-development assets, including all intellectual property and designs for the project”.
“The purchase represents Crown’s continued investment in Victoria and the Southbank arts and entertainment precinct.
“The One Queensbridge site could accommodate a fourth Crown hotel which would deliver significant economic and tourism benefits to Victoria, including additional employment and training opportunities”.