Crown’s Melbourne skyscraper hits a hurdle

The Victorian Government has crimped Crown Resorts’ plans to build Australia’s tallest tower in Melbourne after refusing to extend the development permit.

Crown Resorts and joint venture partner the Schiavello Group had applied to the government for an extension to the construction start date for the proposed One Queensbridge project.

The permit, which gave James Packer’s casino group two years to begin construction, expired March 2. However, the extension to the construction start date for the One Queensbridge project has been denied.

“No formal notice has been received from the Victorian government but it is expected shortly,” Crown told the ASX.

The $2 billion hotel and apartment complex was proposed to reach 323 metres high, outreaching Melbourne’s Eureka Tower by 26 metres and pipping Australia’s tallest building, Q1 on the Gold Coast, by half a metre.

“As previously announced, the project was subject to obtaining financing arrangements that were satisfactory to Crown and Schiavello,” Crown told the ASX.

“Unfortunately these arrangements could not be achieved before the construction commencement date under the planning approval.”

Crown Resorts said it retained a 50 per cent ownership interest in the land and “will consider the next steps for the property in conjunction with Schiavello”.