Star City Casino

James Packer’s plan to raise his share in Echo Entertainment in order to develop a destination Casino in Barangaroo has received mixed responses from developers, architects and past politicians alike.

Packer has revealed plans for the development of a 350-room six star hotel and casino which would be located in Barangaroo Central, which has been earmarked for civic, educational and recreational uses.

In order to do this, Packer would have to gain control of Echo as they hold the rights to the only casino in Sydney- Star City and to open another one it would need to be done under Echo’s banner.

Chris Johnson is a former government architect and judge of the original architectural competition for the site as well as head of the developer lobby group Urban Taskforce. He told the Sydney Morning Herald:

''We have to be careful it does not look like it's totally on its own” Johnson said in reference to the proposed northern positioning of the hotel and casino.

He went on to say:

“''There has to be some process calling for bids rather than one just arriving from outer space.''

Former chairman of the Barangaroo Design Excellence Review Panel and ex Prime-Minister Paul Keating weighed in on the debate after a meeting with Packer

''I told him that the principal civic dividend from the project was its near 60 per cent public open space … and that I regarded the public amenity of these lands as inviolate,'' Mr Keating said.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore criticised the development calling it ‘clumsy’ and ‘Dubai-style hotel’.

The Sydney Morning Herald said that Moore questioned the supportive nature of Premier Barry O’Farrell who described the proposal as ‘exciting’.