The Star Entertainment Group has lodged a development application for a 61-story tower project, featuring the Ritz-Carlton hotel brand, that will significantly expand amenities at its existing Sydney property.

The proposed hotel and residences tower at The Star Sydney complex, together with works in a connected ribbon development, will include new resort amenities, extensive food and beverage offerings and a neighbourhood centre.

The Star is partnering with Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium on the project, which will involve an investment of more than $500m. Architects FJMT, led by Richard Francis-Jones, won a Design Excellence Competition in December 2016 to secure the rights to design the tower.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel will include a Sky Lobby, complete with a signature restaurant with expansive harbour views, and a rooftop terrace. The new development will sit wholly within the existing footprint of The Star Sydney and bring further new facilities to the burgeoning Pyrmont-Darling Harbour-Barangaroo precinct.

The development will support the new Sydney International Convention Centre and help connect Darling Harbour to the Sydney Fishmarket and The Bays Precinct.

Star CEO, Matt Bekier said the development will help Sydney to meet an expected surge in tourism arrivals to Australia.

“Forecasts suggest Australia’s current visitation of around 8.3 million international visitors per annum will rise to 15 million a year inside a decade. To cater for that demand, we need the necessary tourism infrastructure. Sydney lacks sufficient high-end hotels to meet this wave of international tourist demand, led by the rapidly expanding wealthy Chinese middle-class demographic,” he said.

Mr Bekier said the local Pyrmont community had also been included and consulted throughout the Sydney process.

“We have run community consultation sessions, took our community’s feedback seriously, and altered our designs accordingly prior to lodging these plans and entering a public exhibition period. We are proud to include in the development, a Pyrmont Neighbourhood Centre over five levels with a proposed social enterprise café, reading room, function space, collaboration hub and a rooftop terrace. There will also be improved visibility and access to the light rail station under The Star.”