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Owner of new Sofitel Darling Harbour wants roof helipad

August 27, 2014 Headline News, Hotel News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Sydney has secured a 35-storey, 594-room Sofitel as part of its new world-class convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour – and the hotel’s owner urged the NSW Government yesterday to consider “Vivid-style” lighting for the property and a helipad for the roof.

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said yesterday the hotel would be a standout feature of the NSW Government’s AUD 2.5 billion transformation of Darling Harbour.

“Today’s announcement is a milestone in Darling Harbour’s revitalisation and a major tourism win for the State,” Stoner said.

“This will be the first large luxury hotel built in Sydney’s CBD since the 2000 Olympics, and shows that Sydney well and truly has its mojo back.

“The hotel will be operated by Accor under its French luxury hotel brand Sofitel, which aligns with the conference, special event and tourism functions of Darling Harbour.

“The NSW Government is delighted that its development partner for this part of the project, Lend Lease, has secured an agreement with Australia’s largest private hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, to deliver the hotel.”

Schwartz, meanwhile, has said that Sydney needs a CBD helipad “to be a truly international convention city”. unnamed (22)

Schwartz has also requested permission to incorporate permanent ‘Vivid-style’ external lighting of the hotel to help animate the Darling Harbour precinct.

The proposals were put forward today at a press conference to announce that Schwartz Family Company (SFC) would fund the construction of the ICC Hotel, which will be branded a Sofitel and managed by Accor when it opens in the second quarter of 2017.

The 35-storey, 594-room Sofitel will be Sydney’s largest new hotel developed for over 20 years and will help break an accommodation drought that has existed in the city since the 2000 Olympics.

The Sofitel will be an integral component of the new Darling Harbour convention and exhibition precinct that is currently under construction.

Schwartz is one of Australia’s largest private hotel owners, with 1800 rooms currently operating in Sydney and a total of 13 hotels nationally, many of which are major convention hotels.

The proposed helipad on top of the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour would be close to where a previous helipad operated until the 1980s, an issued statement by Schwartz said yesterday.

Many comparable international convention cities have CBD helipads, including Melbourne, and Schwartz believes that a city aiming to be a leading player in the international convention and exhibition market requires international infrastructure support.

“We applaud the NSW Government for their vision to re-generate the Darling Harbour precinct, and an ideal addition to the precinct would be a purpose-built helipad on top of the Sofitel to service the ICC and Sydney more widely,” Schwartz said.

“Such helipads are available in cities like New York, London and Melbourne, and it will significantly benefit Sydney’s business and convention profile to have a helipad developed at Darling Harbour.

“We will also be in dialogue with the authorities to introduce external lighting of the building, so that it will enhance Darling Harbour at night and put it on par with other major harbour cities, such as Hong Kong. The popularity of Sydney’s ‘Vivid’ highlights the need for a permanent light display in the city, and such an installation will help Darling Harbour become a truly dynamic and contemporary tourism and entertainment hub.”

Written by : Peter Needham

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