Crown’s $2.4 billion Barangaroo project is ahead of schedule, owner James Packer has revealed as he made his first visit to the site with girlfriend Kylie Lim.
Crown’s $2.4 billion Barangaroo project is ahead of schedule, owner James Packer has revealed as he made his first visit to the site with girlfriend Kylie Lim.

Mogul reveals new casino will open this year

Crown Resorts' $2.4 billion Barangaroo project will open this year, more than three months ahead of schedule, owner James Packer has revealed as he made his first ever visit to the controversial site and his future home.

The Sydney Harbour foreshore development was to open sometime early 2021 but better weather and a smarter "top-down build" approach has meant fit out is already well underway with intentions to open to the public now by this December.

James Packer tours the Barangaroo Crown casino site for the first time. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James Packer tours the Barangaroo Crown casino site for the first time. Picture: Rohan Kelly

Mr Packer landed in Sydney on Wednesday morning with girlfriend Kylie Lim and together with his mother Ros Packer immediately made his way to Barangaroo on Sydney Harbour's foreshore to see his project.

James Packer visits the $2.4bn Sydney casino site for the first time. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James Packer visits the $2.4bn Sydney casino site for the first time. Picture: Rohan Kelly

"Wow, just wow", he told News Corp Australia as he arrived on site and gazed up to the so-far completed 55th floor.

"When it's completed this will be my home and in my business career probably something I am the most proud of," he said.
"It wasn't easy to get done and we've got challenges in front of us but we are trying to build something special."

 

Te exclusive view from Level 44 at Crown Sydney takes in Sydney Harbour. Picture: Christian Gilles
Te exclusive view from Level 44 at Crown Sydney takes in Sydney Harbour. Picture: Christian Gilles

 

The view also takes in Sydney’s CBD. Picture: Christian Gilles
The view also takes in Sydney’s CBD. Picture: Christian Gilles

 

The stunning harbourside views from Level 44 at Crown Sydney. Picture: Christian Gilles
The stunning harbourside views from Level 44 at Crown Sydney. Picture: Christian Gilles

 

 

Kylie Lim with James Packer at the $2.4bn Sydney casino project being built by his company Crown Resorts. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Kylie Lim with James Packer at the $2.4bn Sydney casino project being built by his company Crown Resorts. Picture: Rohan Kelly

He said completion of the project was for his dad Kerry but mostly for himself, as his achievement.

"Look there is always an element of things like that, wanting your parents to be proud of you but today its for me being here to enjoy it. It's taken shape, it's sculptural the way its meant to be and I'm pretty excited. "

James Packer with Kylie Lim and his mother Ros Packer. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James Packer with Kylie Lim and his mother Ros Packer. Picture: Rohan Kelly

Mr Packer, who toured multiple floors of the structure, said Crown had a vision that rival The Star could not match and Sydney needed it.

"I am a Sydney boy and Sydney deserves something at least as good as there is in Melbourne and this is a once in a lifetime site and once in a lifetime to do something that lasts, that brings tourism to Australia, that provides jobs for workers and pays considerable taxes to the government. It's a win."

James Packer at the $2.4bn Sydney casino project being built by his company Crown Resorts. Picture Rohan Kelly
James Packer at the $2.4bn Sydney casino project being built by his company Crown Resorts. Picture Rohan Kelly

Mr Packer said he believed in 10 years Barangaroo would be one of the great precincts in the world. He said he would be spending more time in Sydney.

News Corp Australia was invited on an exclusive tour with Mr Packer and his entourage.

In the middle of last year Mr Packer resigned from 22 directorships in Australia, including Consolidated Press Holdings, as he battled mental health challenges and sought to spend more time with his family.

James Packer meets some of the workers on site. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James Packer meets some of the workers on site. Picture: Rohan Kelly

Mrs Packer said it was good to have her boy, whom she described as sensitive, home and to see the site.

"I'm thrilled," she said. "I am very happy with where he (James) is at. I travel a lot to see him, be with him and see that he is okay, I would see him for every six weeks to two months and I feel he is in a much better space, a more positive space.

"I think to come here to see this will really give him such a boost, give us all a boost, we in the family. Mentally he is in a much better space which is wonderful."

Mr Packer's short visit to Australia comes ahead of the unprecedented January 21 public inquiry into Crown by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority probing its suitability to hold Sydney's Barangaroo casino licence.

The inquiry, being conducted by Patricia Bergin SC, will consider Mr Packer's

proposed $1.76bn sale of ­almost 20 per cent of Crown to Hong Kong billionaire Lawrence Ho's Melco Group to establish whether it would breach Barangaroo's restricted gaming licence. Backed by the NSW and Victorian gaming regulators and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), it will also look at allegations Crown had breached gambling and money laundering laws and partnered with dubious junket operators with links to organised crime.

Mr Packer said he was happy to assist the inquiry where he could.

James with girlfriend Kylie Lim at the Barangaroo site. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James with girlfriend Kylie Lim at the Barangaroo site. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Kylie Lim watches on as her boyfriend James Packer tours the site. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Kylie Lim watches on as her boyfriend James Packer tours the site. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Ros Packer at the facility. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Ros Packer at the facility. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James Packer’s mother says he is now in “a much better space”. Picture: Rohan Kelly
James Packer’s mother says he is now in “a much better space”. Picture: Rohan Kelly

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