Good news for the development of this prime area.
Right across from the Adelaide Oval (one of the best stadiums in the world). The area has needed developing but lets hope it doesn't destroy what is a pristine area of our city along the Torrens.
Lang Walker’s long-awaited $1bn plans for Adelaide’s Festival Plaza, redevelopment of Adelaide Casino, Festival Centre and car park look set to go ahead
March 25, 2016 9:51pmPAUL STARICKCHIEF REPORTERThe Advertiser
Greater Riverbank Precinct
- SkyCity releases new designs for $300m Casino redevelopment
- Riverbank Promenade to become dining precinct
- State Government’s ideas for Festival Flaza overhaul
THE long-awaited Festival Plaza project has received the State Government’s tick of *approval, unlocking about $1 billion of riverbank redevelopment on Adelaide’s most prized real estate.
An announcement of formal development approval for Sydney billionaire Lang Walker’s plans for a 24-storey office tower and a two-storey complex of restaurants, luxury shops, cafes and bars on Parliament House’s northern side is expected within days.
The plans include a 24-storey office tower and a two-storey complex of restaurants, luxury shops, cafes and bars on Parliament House’s northern side.A green light for the Walker Corporation — which in late 2012 won exclusive rights to develop the Festival Centre car park and plaza — will trigger a historic transformation of the precinct spanning the Adelaide Casino, Adelaide Oval footbridge, Festival Centre and the tired Hajek Plaza next to Parliament.
The casino has been delaying a $300 million redevelopment as it awaits the Walker building approval, needed to fund the 1560-space Festival Centre carpark upgrade.
Skycity Casino Adelaide flythrough
The casino is relying on carpark spaces for plans for an 80-room luxury hotel, restaurants and premium gaming areas.
It is understood formal development applications lodged by Walker Corporation in recent weeks have been agreed by the State Government and only a final rubber-stamping process is needed.
Detailed concept drawings, showing the Station Rd tower and its associated shops, cafes and bars, are also in the final stages of preparation for the Government announcement.
Festival Plaza and two-storey Walker Corp complex.The Opposition is anticipating a deal, but questioning if unreasonable concessions on government office tenancies, leases and construction timing have been made to Mr Walker to salvage the project.
Walker Corp declined to comment, but its website says work will start early this year and finish in 2018 on the 5000sq m plaza project, featuring commercial towers with 40,000sq m of office space behind Old Parliament House.
Developer Lang Walker. Picture: Jack TranWith the Walker project approved, complex construction schedules will be prepared for redevelopment of the car park, plaza, casino (including a tunnel-footbridge link to the railway station) and a $90 million Festival Centre upgrade.
These will draw on an in-principle deal struck in November for the casino to buy a parcel of state-owned land between the railway station and the Festival Centre, which includes guaranteed access rights via Station Rd and Festival Drive for the Intercontinental Hotel next door.
Festival Centre car park will be extensively redeveloped to accommodate 1560 cars.Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan would not comment on planning approvals but a government spokesman confirmed talks were under way with all parties.
“We are working to commence construction as soon as possible, but the negotiation involves a series of complex agreements between the Government, Walker Corporation, (casino operators) SkyCity, the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Intercontinental Hotel,” he said in a statement to The *Advertiser. “Reaching agreement between all of the parties is something we are working very hard to achieve and we hope to do so soon.”
Final stage of the $350m Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment will be finished next year.Mr Mullighan in January assumed responsibility for the plaza precinct from Planning Minister John Rau, who told Parliament on Thursday the Government was working with Walker Corp to finalise a binding contract and hoped to do so“in the next couple of weeks”.
Opposition Deputy Leader Vickie Chapman yesterday said dealing exclusively with a single partner, Mr Walker, for so long had frustrated development on the prime site and frozen out potential competitors.
She said the government was in a vulnerable position, needing to make progress, and questioned whether government tenancies would be allocated to the Walker office tower or concessions made on construction timing or the long-term site lease time frame.
“The real issue is going to be what have we given up to get this deal salvaged?” Ms Chapman told The Advertiser.
The project includes a $90 million redevelopment of the Festival Festival Centre.SkyCity declined to comment. This week it declared a planned construction start on its $300 million Casino upgrade had shifted from mid this year to at least early next year.
Last March Premier Jay Weatherill announced that the $610 million plaza redevelopment, saying Walker Corp would invest $430 million and taxpayers $180 million.
The dilapidated carpark will be the starting point for the redevelopment.
The $90 million Festival Centre upgrade involves closing over the plaza to createnew entries and foyers.