PHOTO: James Packer is yet to settle on the most expensive apartment in Crown’s Barangaroo tower of power.
Sydney’s towers of power have been a feature of the city’s skyline since 1923 when The Astor was built as our first residential skyscraper and its status as the premier address cemented by the arrival of early residents like artist Portia Geach, arts patron Samuel Henry Ervin and philanthropist Dame Eadith Walker.
There have been various others in the century since, most notably Harry Seidler’s celebrated Darlinghurst building The Horizon when it opened in 1998 with buyers like billionaires Bob Ell and Lang Walker and the late celebrity agent Harry M. Miller. But by 2012 its stature was overshadowed by The Residence on Hyde Park, which has maintained a steady flow of notable owners buying in and selling out of the building since, such as chef Tetsuya Wakuda, China’s “Red Princess” Bao Bao Wan, billionaire shipping magnate Shannian Huang and more recently Delta Goodrem.
Less than a decade later, the CBD skyline is almost unrecognisable from west of the Harbour Bridge, where Crown Residences at Barangaroo is nearing completion. The buyers into Sydney’s tallest residential building confirm that this is not only the country’s most expensive apartment block but is set to be home to a smorgasbord of corporate heavyweights, rich listers and millennial tech entrepreneurs.
Billionaire James Packer claims the largest of the 82 apartments, set over two levels at the fattest centre of the building. It is yet to settle and reveal the exact sale price, reported more than four years as more than $60 million. The company has long maintained its former executive chairman didn’t get any special treatment on the price for the two-storey spread.
When Packer’s purchase was revealed in 2017, he said the building’s 2021 completion would mark a permanent return to his Sydney hometown. However, doubts have been cast on whether he still plans to live in the apartment any time soon, given the controversy around Crown’s casino licence and a potential sell-down of his stake in the company.
Crown’s Sydney casino remains closed after the suspension of its licence when former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin confirmed – among other things – reports by the Sydney Morning Herald that Crown had facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne and Perth casinos, but the residential side of the development has so far settled more than $700 million worth of apartments from the 44 newest owners.
Packer’s right-hand man, Ben Tilley, has settled on his apartment, a far smaller 191-square-metre pad of two bedrooms, but with a prime north-facing aspect.
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