Star Lodges FJMT-Designed DA for $500m Sydney Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences


The Star Entertainment Group has plans to return the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel to Sydney after lodging a development application for a $500 million tower with the NSW Department of Planning.

The Star Group is again partnering with Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium on the luxury hotel and residential project that will comprise 220 Ritz-Carlton hotel rooms along with 200 high-end residences.

If approved, the project will bring the Marriott International brand back to the harbour city, after Sydney’s two Ritz Carlton hotels closed more than a decade ago.

Research released by STR this week shows Sydney hotels are the fourth most profitable in the Asia- Pacific, largely thanks to a rise in international arrivals and the $1.5 billion renovation and expansion of the ICC Sydney Convention centre attracting an increase in business.

Architects FJMT, led by Richard Francis-Jones, is at the design helm of the 61-storey development that will sit within the Pyrmont-Darling Harbour precinct.

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The existing casino building will receive a rooftop makeover, and the tower will include a sky terrace.

It's expected the proposed tower will generate 1,000 construction jobs and a further 500 jobs once the Ritz is operational.

Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier cites economic growth combined with surging inbound tourism as strong drivers for the luxury offering.

“Forecasts suggest Australia’s current visitation of around 8.3 million international visitors per annum will rise to 15 million a year inside a decade,” Bekier said.

Australia currently attracts only one per cent of China’s international outbound travellers, explains Bekier, however tourism numbers have been driven by the Asian market, particularly China due to its growing affluent middle-class ensuring its the fastest growing market.

To cater for the growing demand, Bekier believes Sydney needs the necessary tourism infrastructure.

“Sydney lacks sufficient high-end hotels to meet this wave of international tourist demand, led by the rapidly expanding wealthy Chinese middle-class demographic.”

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The proposed Ritz-Carlton Sydney hotel will soar above the western harbourside skyline
The proposed Ritz-Carlton Sydney hotel will soar above the western harbourside skyline

The Star, Fook and Far East consortium partnership follows on from a joint venture collaboration on Brisbane’s $3 billion Queen’s Wharf project, expected to open in 2022, and the DBI-designed The Star Gold Coast.

Amenities within the Sydney-based resort include a new sky terrace, 15 additional food and beverage offerings and three pools, including two that will feature harbour views.

The local community has been engaged on the Pyrmont project, which will also deliver a five-level neighbourhood centre and offer a social enterprise café, reading room, collaboration hub and rooftop terrace.

The Ritz-Carlton brand exited the harbour city a decade ago after operating hotels in Double Bay and Macquarie Street in Sydney’s CBD.

Once final approvals have been received, it is estimated that construction will be completed within three years.

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