The State Government has rejected a bid by two of Australia's richest men to build a luxury Westfield shopping centre between the new Burswood football stadium and Crown Perth casino.
Westfield founder Frank Lowy and casino mogul James Packer hatched the plan about six months ago, sources say, in a yet-to-be- detailed residential and retail expansion of the casino and hotel.
It was to be modelled on Westfield's £1.3 billion ($2.02 billion) Stratford City development adjacent to the Olympic stadium in London.
With about 175,000sqm of retail space, Stratford City is one of Europe's biggest shopping centres and about three-quarters of all Olympic spectators were estimated to have funnelled past its stores on the way to events.
However, the WA Government rejected the Burswood mall bid, supposedly because of concerns about over development of the area.
Premier Colin Barnett previously expressed a strong desire to keep big parts of the precinct open for families via recreational parkland.
A spokeswoman for Mr Barnett's office confirmed the proposal was shot down quickly. "The idea was floated with the Government but the Government rejected it immediately," she said. "The agreement (with Crown) is for a hotel only."
She was referring to Mr Packer's $60 million deal with the WA Government last month to buy land on the southern edge of Burswood Park golf course for an upmarket hotel at the casino. Mr Barnett has said the land is valued at $95 million but he has not released information, including valuations, to support this.
He said the Government settled on a discounted price of $60 million because the land would cost $30 million to remediate.
That deal has attracted heat from the Opposition about the links between the Government and Mr Packer. Mr Lowy's involvement may have become another attack point on the Government.
Crown Perth chief executive Barry Felstead confirmed the pitch was made and rejected but said the issue had not been revisited.
It comes before the imminent release of the Burswood stadium's project definition plan, a long-awaited document that spells out detailed specifications.Mr Packer and Mr Lowy were estimated in June to be the third and the sixth richest Australians, with $5.2 billion and $6.5 billion respectively. They are good friends and are believed to have seen the idea as a way to attract crowds when there was no football played.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.