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May 31, 2014updated 22 Oct 2021 12:23pm

May’s Top Stories: Queensland approves two casinos, Russell Group’s £9bn plans

The Queensland Government has selected two major casino construction projects to proceed to the next stage of development. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) have been selected to provide a joint master plan for transforming Philadelphia's 30th Street station. UK's Russell Group has unveiled plans to spend more than £9bn on 69 projects over a period of five years. Designbuild-network wraps-up the key headlines from May 2014.


Queensland Government approves two casino projects worth $15.65bn

The Queensland Government has selected two major casino construction projects to proceed to the next stage of development.

The $8.15bn Aquis resort at Yorkeys Knob and the $7.5bn Broadwater Marine project will result in the development of two integrated casino resorts in Queensland.

Queensland State Development, Infrastructure and Planning deputy premier and minister Jeff Seeney said that Aquis and the ASF Consortium would probably receive gaming licences if the projects proceeded and met all the necessary environmental, planning and gaming licensing approvals.

SOM selected for Philadelphia’s 30th Street station master plan

Amtrak, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust have chosen Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) along with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN and HR&A Advisors to provide a joint master plan for transforming Philadelphia’s 30th Street station.


The transformation, which is being funded by Drexel University and its partners, includes community development, economic development and improved transportation connections.

As part of the commercial development, the project will see the building of new retail spaces within the station and air rights above 75 acres of rail yards next to the station.

Wessal Capital to invest $2.4bn in Moroccan tourism infrastructure

Wessal Capital joint venture created by Morocco and four Gulf States of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, will invest AED9bn ($2.4bn) to develop a tourism industry in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.

The development will receive funding from Qatar fund Qatar Holding, the Kuwait Investment Authority’s Al Ajial Investments, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Aabar, Saudi Investment Fund and the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development (FMDT).

The project is designed to attract tourists through the creation of hotels, a marina, residential housing, urban green spaces, a museum of archaeology and earth sciences, and an 110ha grand theatre in Rabat, with special focus on ecological components.

Russell Group to invest £9bn on 69 UK projects

A team of 24 of the UK’s large research-intensive universities, the Russell Group, has unveiled plans to spend more than £9bn on 69 projects over a period of five years.


The investment will be used to build new student accommodation, medical research facilities, science labs, new office spaces, and resources to support start-up businesses and universities.

The funds will be generated from various sources, including government grants, income from research and teaching, private donations and borrowing.

Europe’s tallest skyscraper Lakhta Center underway in St Petersburg

Construction of the tallest skyscraper in Europe is underway in Russia’s St Petersburg.

The Lakhta Center will be 463m-high, surpassing the current record-holder, Moscow’s Mercury City, by around 124m.

A list of the ten tallest skyscrapers compiled by building data provider Emporis found that seven out of the ten were being constructed in Moscow.

The Lakhta Center will be followed by Vostok (Federation Tower East) at 361m-high and then OKO apartment tower at 352m.

Application submitted for New Covent Garden Market regeneration

VINCI St Modwen (VSM) and the Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) have submitted a planning application for the £2bn regeneration of the 57 acre New Covent Garden Market site in London, UK.


The project includes the development of 550,000ft² of modern facilities to house the 200 businesses that make up the New Covent Garden Market. Next to the facilities will be a new food quarter, which will be part of the new market and known as The Garden at New Covent Garden Market.

The mixed-use project will also see construction of new facilities for the New Covent Garden Market, the UK’s largest fruit, vegetable and flower market. Around 3,000 new homes, 135,000ft² of new office space, and 100,000ft² of retail, leisure and community facilities including shops, cafes and restaurants will also be built on 20 acres of land.

Al Maabar to redevelop former Athens airport into mixed-use site

Abu Dhabi-based Al Maabar International Investments is to invest more than €7bn in the redevelopment of former international airport Hellenikon in Athens, Greece, into a mixed-use project.

Al Maabar is collaborating with the Latsis Group of Greece and the Chinese firm, Fosun, to create the Global Investment Group fund, which will work on the airport redevelopment project with Athens-based Lamda Development.

Construction work on the 6.2 million m² site is scheduled to begin in 2016. Out of the total space, around three million m² will be allocated for retail, residential, leisure, hotels and office space.

schmidt hammer lassen completes design for Chinese Labour Union

Denmark-based schmidt hammer lassen architects has completed the design work for the new cultural home for Ningbo Labour Union in China.


The Home of Staff project site will be built at the centre of Ningbo New East Town and will be in the vicinity of New Ningbo Library, which was designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects.

Spread across an area of 100,000m², the project will feature two separate buildings with spaces for arts and performance, education facilities and offices, and a landscape park that is more than half a kilometre in length.

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