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Crown gets green light for Southbank tower

Casino operator Crown Resorts has been given the go ahead to build Australia’s tallest skyscraper, a 90-storey hotel and apartment tower located in Melbourne’s Southbank, local media reports.

Designed by Wilkinson Eyre, the A$1.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) One Queensbridge Hotel will feature 388 hotel rooms and 708 residential apartments, rising 323 meters above ground.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the planning approval on Thursday.

"This will be Melbourne's tallest building, and arguably it will be Australia's tallest building," Mr Andrews said.

"But it's not just about height though. The quality of this design outcome, particularly the public realm benefits, the benefits that will be accessible for all Victorians, really mark this out as a very special project,” he added.

As part of the development, Crown Resorts and developer Schiavello Group has promised to spend A$100 million to upgrade Queensbridge Square and the disused Sandridge rail bridge.

Once completed, the new hotel complex will give Crown a total of 2000 rooms in its Melbourne hotel and casino complex.

The company says the new development will provide A$2.1 billion in economic benefit to the state.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018, with a construction time frame of 5 to 6 years.

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