Private hotel proposed for Adelaide’s government-owned riverbank land

A six-star hotel complex stretching across 10,000 square metres of government-owned land and reaching up to 27 floors has been proposed for the banks of Adelaide’s River Torrens, to the west of the Adelaide Convention Centre and the Morphett Street Bridge.

With an initial design by Adelaide-based practice Enzo Caroscio Architecture and Design, the hotel is part of a plan from investment minster Martin Hamilton-Smith to address Adelaide’s hotel shortage and boost tourism.

The hotel proposal has not yet received cabinet approval, but Hamilton-Smith says there has been considerable interest from international developers.

“With tourism to South Australia booming and new business growth and investment in the state, the one offering South Australia lacks is an ultra-luxury six-star hotel to meet the demands of these markets,” Hamilton-Smith said in a statement. “This proposal addresses this shortfall.”

It would see the prime land, owned by the state government and the City of Adelaide, sold to a private developer for a nominal price, in order for them to fully finance the project.

Hamilton-Smith, speaking with The Advertiser, estimated the project would cost between $200 million and $300 million.

The design of the hotel would be chosen through a national design contest, but would be informed by the colours and forms of South Australia’s outback. Enzo Caroscio’s concept design depicts an ochre-toned tower rising from an organically shaped podium, which is designed to blend into the surrounding landscape. The design also proposes vertical sunshades, which would sway back and forth along the façade of the building, mimicking the reeds of the riverbank.

In addition to the hotel, penthouse offerings and commercial offices, the complex would also house an Indigenous art galley in its basement.

The Adelaide city council is currently considering the site for a permanent commercial helipad.

Hamilton-Smith was elected as a Liberal MP in 2014 but defected to become an independent two months later, before being appointed to the Labor government’s cabinet.

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