M&L Hospitality’s plan to construct a third tower as part of an upgrade of the iconic Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney has been approved.

The NSW Government has approved the plan, which calls for the construction of a third tower as part of an upgrade of the iconic Four Points by Sheraton (“Four Points”) in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The complete project is valued at $160 million with M&L stating that the tower will be “spearheading the revitalisation of Darling Harbour as a dynamic convention precinct.”

The project is also set to contribute to the NSW government’s ambitious target to double overnight visitor expenditure by 2020 while also addressing the shortfall of hotel accommodation in Sydney.

“The expansion of Four Points by Sheraton Sydney is a strong vote of confidence in the NSW visitor economy and the NSW Government’s vision to transform Darling Harbour into one of the world’s best areas to live, meet and be entertained,” said NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour

M&L has commissioned Australian firm Cox Richardson Architects to design the tower and Brookfield Multiplex for the construction. The tower is set to rise 90 metres and cover 23 storeys according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Natural Habitat.

The mixed-use tower complex, which combines hotel and office space, is already Australia’s largest hotel by room count. The new tower is set to house 230 rooms, bringing the Four Points’ total room count to more than 900 upon completion.

M&L also revealed that the tower would include A-grade office boutiques across seven floors offering “magnificent views that cannot be built out.”

It will feature 4,810 square metres of convention space, including one of the largest ballrooms without pillars in Sydney, and exhibition and function space designed by architectural firm Bates Smart. This will also address the shortage of event space while the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney undergoes its own one billion dollar refurbishment.

M&L Hospitality is owned by Grandline International, established by the Singapore-based Kum family, which owns hotels in key cities including Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Nagoya and London.

“Our remarkable development will refresh Sydney’s hotel, event and commercial landscape. The significant investment we’re making is a direct result of the level of confidence we have in both Sydney and the Australian hospitality market,” said M&L Hospitality chair Michael Kum.

Michael Kum

Michael Kum, M&L Hospitality

M&L first acquired Four Points in 2009 and the company has already invested $25 million into business and leisure facilities upgrades and the refurbishment of Four Points’ existing 683 rooms. In addition to Four Points, M&L owns another three Australian properties: Swissôtel Sydney, Travelodge Docklands, Melbourne and Citigate Melbourne.

M&L CEO Neil Maxwell believes the tower has come at a good time and will meet much needed demand for four and five star hotels in the Darling Harbour precinct. He reported that while his realm of hotels hold an 80 per cent occupancy rate, conference facilities were a growing market for people looking to keep their accommodation and activities in the one location.

Economically, both tourism and employment will benefit from the new tower, with the NSW government reporting the project will create 2,250 direct and indirect jobs during construction and a further 92 when operational as a full service hotel.

Work on the Four Points tower project is expected to begin in early 2014 and is slated to be completed within two years with minimal disruption to the hotel’s operations.