Echo Entertainment is moving its Australian headquarters to Brisbane after winning the bid for the multi-billion-dollar Queen's Wharf project yesterday.
Its Destination Brisbane consortium prevailed over James Packer's Crown group with a plan to build a new casino, hospitality and residential precinct that covers from Queen's Wharf, near New Farm, through the Central Business District and on to South Bank.
The redevelopment has an arc-shaped building with a sky deck as its centerpiece, and includes five new hotels, 50 restaurants and bars and public space which is equivalent to about 12 football fields.
In announcing its decision, the Queensland government cited Echo’s plan to include extra public space, restaurants and hotel options as the deciding factors.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the project would transform Brisbane. "It will do what South Bank did for Brisbane 30 years ago,” he said.
Echo Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier welcomed the decision. “We’re delighted the Government shares our vision to develop Queen’s Wharf Brisbane into the best Integrated Resort in Australia, and one for which Brisbane will be globally recognized,” he said.
The bid consortium, Destination Brisbane, consisted of Echo Entertainment, Hong-Kong based consortium Far East and Chinese conglomerate Chow Tai Fook.
Construction on the Queen's Wharf project will start in 2017 and take five years to complete, with the public spaces along the river expected to be the first task.