By HerCanberra Team — January 06, 2015
The Casino Canberra site is set to be redeveloped into a world-class integrated entertainment precinct following its sale to Aquis Developments late last month. The new owners have wasted no time unveiling their vision for the future of the casino which they say will reinvigorate the City South precinct, creating a bookend between the retail and dining hub at one end of City Walk and the new casino and entertainment precinct at the other.
Aquis Managing Director Justin Fung, son of Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung, says that the acquisition of Casino Canberra provides an exciting opportunity to deliver an entertainment product of the scale and quality not before seen in Canberra.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate our vision for integrated resort developments in Australia’s capital,” he says.
“We see significant potential to turn the current casino into a broader leisure, entertainment and nightlife destination.”
As part of the transaction, Aquis has also acquired land behind the current casino site while three internationally recognised architectural firms (Friedmutter Group, Las Vegas; Weststar, Las Vegas; and DBI, Australia) have been invited to submit masterplans for the site following a visit to Canberra last month. Their brief is to deliver the most innovative solution possible while breathing life into the City South precinct generally. The firms will work under the guidance of lead architects, Canberra-based Cox.
While final plans and designs will form part of the master-planning, Mr. Fung says that the new development will likely include a mix of internationally-acclaimed restaurants, bars, nightlife and entertainment options along with a redeveloped casino.
“I’d expect the quality of dining and entertainment options on offer to be on-par with some of the best integrated casino developments in Australia and around the world and we’ll be actively looking to compliment and add to what is already on offer in Canberra,” says Mr. Fung.
Fung says he is so committed to the project that he’s relocating himself and his executive team to Canberra in the coming weeks so they can put their entire focus on it.
“This really is a great time to be part of the evolution of Canberra. There is so much happening here and we’re looking forward to playing a part in that,” he says.
“The Constitution Avenue upgrade and the longer term plans for the future development of the city provide us with a solid foundation from which we can start to make a real impact on the City South area.”
Aquis plans to commence redevelopment as soon as possible with a view to completion by around the end of 2016.
Media release from Aquis Developments