South Australia’s Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith has conceived a plan to address Adelaide’s hotel shortage and attract tourism by building a six-star hotel on the River Torrens.
Martin Hamilton-Smith hopes the investment – which he said has already attracted international investor interest – will showcase the state’s indigenous history and house an indigenous art gallery.
The Minister estimates the project as costing anywhere between $200 million and $300 million.
Hamilton-Smith said his proposal for a luxury hotel and indigenous art gallery, west of the Morphett St bridge, on land owned by the state government, would reinforce Adelaide as the southern gateway to the outback.
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An initial concept design has been created by Adelaide-based practice Enzo Caroscio for a 27-storey complex. In addition to the hotel, penthouse offerings and commercial offices, the complex would also house an Indigenous art gallery in its basement.
Hamilton-Smith cited the recent shortage of Adelaide hotel rooms during the Ashes Test in reigniting his passion for the project.
He estimates the project as costing anywhere between $200 million and $300 million.
In July, the Skycity Entertainment Group committed $330 million to its plans to expand the Adelaide Casino. The plans will see the casino add a "luxury" hotel, new VIP gaming facilities, three new bars and three additional restaurants.
Work has now begun on the 20-storey U-City multi-use development in the CBD which will be a world leader in short-term accommodation for people with disabilities.
The riverbank precinct has attracted much public and private investment over the past five years including the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA Health and Medical Research Institute and the Adelaide Convention Centre.
Current private investment includes Walker Corporation to redevelop the Adelaide Festival Centre Car Park and Plaza ($430 million); University of Adelaide to construct the Medical and Nursing School ($206 million); University of South Australia to construct the Centre for Cancer Biology (100 million); and SkyCity Adelaide 2020 Expansion including a luxury hotel ($330 million).
“With tourism to South Australia booming and new business growth and investment in the State, the one offering South Australia lacks is an ultra-luxury six-star hotel to meet the demands of these markets. This proposal addresses this shortfall,” Hamilton-Smith said.
“The vision is to build a luxury six-star hotel that creates a highly noticeable landmark destination in Adelaide, one that becomes an attraction in itself.”
The concept has not yet received cabinet approval. It is proposed that 10,000 square metres of land owned by the State Government and Adelaide City Council being sold to a developer for a token price.