Is The Star considering another attempt at its once-rejected tower as part of a new-look Pyrmont?
Is The Star considering another attempt at its once-rejected tower as part of a new-look Pyrmont?

New life could be injected into a proposed tourism redevelopment at The Star after the NSW Government unveiled a new 20-year draft vision for the modernisation of the inner-Sydney enclave of Pyrmont – part of the state’s COVID recovery plan.

The ‘Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy and Economic Development Strategy’, launched by NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet; Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes and Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, outlined a prosperous future for the area which forecasted 800,000 square metres of new commercial and office space which would ultimately create up to 23,000 new jobs.

Supported by a planned Pyrmont station as part of the Sydney Metro West line through to Parramatta, the draft plan outlined a commitment to grow industries including tourism through a variety of high-tech developments.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet

The plan fuelled speculation of the potential that a second attempt at securing approval for a AUD$530 million development which included a 61-storey mixed-use tower which was quashed last year by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The tower included plans for a 220-room luxury hotel, which was proposed to signal the return of the Ritz-Carlton brand to Sydney.

The Planning Commission’s rejection triggered a review into the decision by NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, via the Greater Sydney Commission and was followed by a commitment to “revitalise and redevelop” the Western Harbour precinct into Sydney’s ‘gateway to the CBD’ which would see it become s hub for jobs and innovation. The NSW Independent Planning Commission was subsequently reformed and streamlined in an effort to remove “bureaucratic double handling” and to improve and expedite the Commission’s efficiency.

Alongside the planned Metro station, the new 20-year plan for Pyrmont includes ambitions for a new indoor sports and entertainment venue “like our own Madison Square Garden” along with more open public spaces and rezoning of sites for commercial investment.

Other plans in the works include a proposed helipad on the Sofitel Darling Harbour rooftop.

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, said the strategy would help map the area’s future.

“As well as a jobs hub of the future, we want the peninsula to be a premier cultural and entertainment destination which is connected to museums, theatres, bars and cafes, the Sydney Fish Market, the ICC, Harbourside and The Star.”

A spokesperson for Marriott International said while it couldn’t comment on potential developments, Ritz-Carlton was the jewel in its luxury portfolio and that it would continue to look for new opportunities to expand its footprint.

“Sydney is a global city so we firmly believe that Ritz-Carlton could deliver incremental luxury customers us, but we have very stringent and detailed standards when it comes to the brand and always look for the most incredible, iconic locations,” the company said.

The Star’s proposed 61-storey tower was rejected by the NSW Independent Planning Commission last year,

“We believe that Ritz-Carlton can deliver the harbour city’s finest aspirational luxury experience, and more importantly, give another reason for luxury travellers to visit this extraordinary city, but the development has to be right.”

The Star Entertainment Limited told HM it was working through the detail of the announcement and would provide an update on its next steps in due course.

Minister Stokes said the Pyrmont revitalisation project would focus on key sites for renewal, including The Star and Harbourside Shopping Centre, which has been identified for a concept project involving the redevelopment of the existing shopping centre and construction of a 153-metre tower containing 357 residential apartments.