Star Entertainment Group has secured $1.6 billion in funding for the completion of its Queen’s Wharf development in central Brisbane.
The $3.6 billion project is being led by the Destination Brisbane Consortium—which includes the Star, developers Far East Consortium and Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook, is currently under construction and on track to open in 2022.
Star has confirmed that it had now executed facility agreements for Queen’s Wharf on terms agreed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Funding conditions are expected to be completed by June which include relevant final approvals from the Queensland government.
Star said the funding would cover a period of 5.5 years, which is expected to provide around three years of operating history before refinancing is required.
The first draw-down on the funding is expected mid-year in relation to facility and other fees, with more substantial draw-down to fund construction to commence in early 2021.
“The finalisation of our funding commitments for the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project comes at a time when Covid-19 is having significant human and commercial impact,” a Star spokesperson told The Urban Developer.
“Domestic and eventually international tourism will be crucial to the country’s economic recovery and we’re equally pleased this project remains on time and on budget for a planned opening in 2022.”
In totality the project will be 50 per cent funded by Star and 25 per cent each by its partners, Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium.
At least 60 per cent of the project cost will be executed under the construction contract which is being overseen by Multiplex.
Star is also expected to pay $1 billion to the Queensland government over a period of 15 years due to the projects central nature, having taken up half-a-dozen blocks of prime real estate on the city's northern banks.
Construction, which began in early 2017, has continued during the coronavirus crisis with the precinct's first four towers—including the hotels, private apartments and gaming areas—beginning to materialise between George and William streets.
A new 300-metre park being built beyond the Riverside Expressway on a previously inaccessible part of the river is also taking shape.
Star has also proposed two further apartment towers for the site which are planned for construction beyond 2024, following the completion of the main development.
Work has also commenced on the Neville Bonner Bridge, set to span 320 metres from Queen's Wharf to South Bank.