Crown Sydney to open on Christmas Day
Crown’s latest venture in Sydney is one of the most anticipated projects in the harbour city, as it is expected to give a new look to the Barangaroo waterfront.
The massive addition will include a hotel, apartments, restaurants and a VIP-centric casino that are slated to open on Christmas Day this year.
Casino Aus reports that construction on the project began in 2016, though sometimes stalled periodically due to legal battles and other red tape.
The estimated completion date has shifted numerous times, with James Packer saying the venture will open on December 25.
Earlier this month, the billionaire investor and Crown Resorts’ largest shareholder Mr Packer emerged from a mostly self-imposed exile from public life to tour the Crown Sydney development site.
He seemed pleased with the progress of the $2.4 billion project at Barangaroo.
In fact, he was so pleased that he announced to the media it would open to the public on Christmas Day.
When the project first began, the opening date was expected to be early 2020 for the first tower and the end of 2020 for the rest of it.
Along the way, the opening was delayed, with 2021 slated as the opening date.
Packer was particular though, naming Christmas Day of this year in his first public appearance in more than a year.
“It’s really pleasing,” Packer said tot he media, referring to the opening begin three months earlier than planned.
“We are truly indebted to our builders, architects and tradies who have made this possible.”
Delays due to height conjecture
The most significant and lengthy delay to Crown’s plans had to do with the height of the tower.
Crown Resorts believed they paid a price for the property that included an exclusive view of the harbour.
At one point, Crown and its building partners discovered that the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, run by the New South Wales government, took bids from other companies for taller buildings that would hinder the Crown tower view.
The two entities went to court, and the battle moved through to the New South Wales Supreme Court.
In December 2018, that court ruled for Crown, ruling that the BDA violated its development agreements with Crown and co-plaintiffs Lendlease.
At appeal by the BDA resulted in a settlement.
The details were not made public, although the New South Wales government dropped its appeal and Crown retained its claim to the exclusive views.
Table games and no pokies at new casino
The Crown Sydney website gives insight into the new destination for visitors to Sydney.
It is described as a “pinnacle of modern design that harmoniously brings together an opulent hotel, prestigious apartments, signature restaurants, premium gaming areas and a lavish spa.”
One Barangaroo will be the tower of residences – 82 of them – with views of the Sydney Harbour and its landmarks.
The apartments range from two to six bedroom homes with some Duplex Penthouses as well.
Packer purchased two floors of the hotel, not the residence tower, that are being converted into a second home for him.
“I grew up in Sydney, and my kids still spend time here,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful place and I hope to spend more time visiting.”
There will also be gaming at the casino, but Crown Sydney has taken special care not to call the casino a casino.
The website refers to it as a “premium table games experience”.
Evidently, there will be no pokies, only table games like baccarat, blackjack and roulette.