Melbourne's Crown casino relaunches plan for a new hotel

In Melbourne, the Crown casino has relaunched plans for a controversial 90-story hotel tower on the banks of the Yarra River that would be 20 meters taller than the Eureka Tower. The tower, according to The Age, will include a 388-room six–star hotel and almost 700 apartments. 

The $1-billion-plus plan—by the same British architects Crown is using for its Barangaroo tower in Sydney—also includes a 41-meter-long "sky bridge" over busy Queens Bridge Street that could face opposition from Melbourne City Council.

The previous plan for the sky bridge would have the structure link the company's two six-star hotels so that guests could easily cross between them without having to get down to street level.

The building would be one of Melbourne's biggest, covering more than 200,000 square metres, and be the fourth hotel at the Crown gambling and entertainment complex.

Crown and its partner in the project, Schiavello, conducted a global design competition and five architecture firms put in final designs: Wilkinson Eyre, Bates Smart, Hassell, Foster + Partners and Jean Nouvel.

The minister has previously flagged the need for more hotel rooms in central Melbourne, and this year has already approved about 1400 rooms. The Crown proposal would see almost 400 new hotel rooms built.