Property and Infrastructure Specialists
Managing a comprehensive capital works program in a live operating environment, to deliver world-class hospitality and entertainment facilities.
Star Entertainment Group (formerly Echo Entertainment and Tabcorp Holdings)
Sydney, NSW

$870M casino upgrade and expansion

From 1997 APP was involved with the construction of the Star City Casino and Hotel, which transformed the Sydney skyline.

In 2007 the owner of the Star Casino, Tabcorp Holdings (now Star Entertainment Group), recognised that the facility needed to:

  • Significantly raise the quality of its service offerings
  • Increase its revenue-generating capabilities across retail, gaming, hospitality and related offerings.

The board approved an $870M upgrade and expansion program.

World-class entertainment destination

In 2008, APP was once again appointed by Echo Entertainment as project manager for the expansion and upgrade program.

Our role was to manage the transformation of the complex into an internationally-recognised integrated resort and world-class entertainment destination, complete with:

  • A new 5-star hotel
  • Improved and expanded entertainment and gaming facilities
  • A 5,500m2 luxury retail precinct
  • A new café court
  • Upscale dining options.

The redevelopment also involved:

  • Reorienting the casino and restaurants to the harbour and city skyline
  • Adding a grand new casino entry
  • Constructing The Darling, the first 5-star hotel built in the Sydney CBD since the 2000 Olympic Games
  • Constructing a new 3,000-seat, multi-use entertainment facility on the existing roof podium

Complex operating environment

The upgrades were all completed within a live operating environment, meeting three important requirements:

  • Compliance with the highest safety standards
  • Minimal disruption to patrons
  • Optimising revenue during the works period.

APP’s responsibilities included:

  • Undertaking comprehensive value studies with Echo Entertainment Group, the consultant team and the building contractor(s)
  • Managing the early works within the new retail precinct, particularly the closure of existing retail facilities
  • Creating new access ways within the complex during construction
  • Ensuring that the design and construct specifications met the client’s budget and quality requirements
  • Employing a variety of contracting models to accommodate international and local design teams
  • Coordinating and integrating a number of international and Australian designers, architects and suppliers to create a unique new brand for The Darling.
  • Acting as tenancy coordinator to manage fit-out of the majority of retail tenancies within the complex, including fashion, food and beverage and restaurant tenancies.


Due to our extensive project management experience in 5-star hotels , we:

  • Ensured that The Star – casino, hotel, apartments and Lyric Theatre – remained operational throughout the upgrades
  • Delivered a retail precinct that met both 5-star finish and budget objectives
  • Staged the works of The Darling to optimise revenue and keep costs low.

It is a testament to our project team that Echo Entertainment continued to grow their revenue and earnings at the existing casino throughout the two-year renovation.

The substantial CAPEX at The Star, in conjunction with the extended exclusivity of the Sydney casino licence, have been executed on time and budget, a worthy outcome in the current environment of cost escalation.

Brett Paton

Director, Echo Entertainment

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