The Gazette notification has been issued approving three hotel projects including James Packer's Crown Ltd, but without gaming or casino facilities, official sources said.
Meanwhile, the government has secured Cabinet approval for the implementation of three tourism projects in the same locations previously earmarked for similar projects with facilities for casino businesses, Daily Mirror learns.
The government rescinded the previous gazette notifications that announced similar projects with facilities for gaming, due to resistance by the clergy of main religions and political parties.
However, the Cabinet on Monday approved three similar projects at these two locations. Accordingly, the government, in its new Cabinet memorandum submitted by Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, said there would be an Integrated Super Luxury Tourist Resort Facility at Glennie Street/Justice Akbar Mawatha, Colombo 2. It is an investment of US $ 750 million.
Unlike in the previous proposal shelved due to the public protest, the government has made no reference to gaming facilities. Instead, it is mentioned this time that it will include high-end shopping malls, luxury residences and office spaces/service spaces with associated facilities. Under the initial phase to be implemented within five years after signing the agreement, US $ 650 million would be invested , and the rest within three years from the commencement of the phase one. Waterfront Properties (Private) Ltd is the name of the company. It will be exempted from taxes under the Strategic Development Act.
In the next project proposed at the site in D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, an Integrated Super Luxury Tourist Resort with 500 rooms is to be set up under an investment of US $ 300 million. It will consist of high-end shopping malls, luxury residences and office spaces and service spaces with associated facilities. The investor is Queensbury Leisure Ltd. The hotel project of US $ 350 million in the same area will be undertaken by Lake Leisure Holdings .It will have 400 rooms. (Kelum Bandara)