Lend Lease has gone back to the drawing board, unveiling a redesign of its proposed hotel as part of the new $1.5 billion dollar International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney.
Community concerns regarding the hotel taking up prime waterfront space and blocking views prompted Lend Lease to redesign the project, which is expected to be a “landmark” addition to its proposed Darling Harbour location.
The ICC Hotel design originally included two 34-storey towers that would house 900 rooms, a plan that Lend Lease has now reduced to one refined 39-storey tower that will include 650 rooms.
“In response to community consultation undertaken earlier this year, we have created a more elegant and slimmer hotel design which improves view sharing with surrounding buildings and provides more public space and flexibility at the ground level,” explained Lend Lease group's head of development David Hutton.
“The new hotel will be a major addition to Sydney’s hospitality offering with quality accommodation for international delegates, tourists and business travellers.”
Lend Lease design group has commissioned Sydney-based architect Richard Francis-Jones of architectural firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) to develop the project, which will be one of the first major quality hotels to be built in central Sydney since before the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The hotel will be a landmark part of the 20-hectare redevelopment of Darling Harbour and will be built to complement the facilities of the new ICC through while boosting visitor economy of the entertainment precinct according to Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive Ken Morrison.
“This hotel, with its striking design, will provide the ultimate in convenience for people attending events at the new International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney,” he said.
“It will be a boon to the tourism industry, with the addition of up to 650 new rooms to Sydney’s accommodation stocks to help New South Wales achieve its goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020. The accommodation will boost activity for other businesses as well, as tourists eat out, go shopping, visit attractions and see the sights of Sydney."
Morrison added that the Darling Harbour project will also provide huge economic benefits, injecting roughly $5 billion into the NSW economy and creating some 3,700 jobs during the construction phase and 4,000 permanent jobs once work is complete.
While still awaiting planning approval, Lend Lease will consult with the community over the new design in the coming weeks with construction still expected to commence in the third quarter of 2014 with the hotel opening in 2016.