The sandstone buildings next to Governor Phillip Tower are set to become a luxury hotel.
Located at 23 – 39 Bridge St near the Museum of Sydney, the Department of Education, the Intercontinental and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, the buildings are some of the most valuable heritage assets in the city.
The New South Wales Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet announced yesterday that Pontiac Land Group, one of Singapore’s largest property developers, have purchased the long-term lease on these buildings.
Perrottet said Pontiac Land would pay AUD$35 million for the lease, together with a commitment to undertake an estimated AUD$250 to AUD$300 million refurbishment of the assets.
“This is great news for NSW, with a 240-room luxury hotel to be built in Sydney’s tourism and financial hub, which means hundreds of new construction and hospitality jobs, and an estimated AUD$185 million boost to the NSW economy over 20 years,” he said.
“This flagship hotel is all about making smarter use of our property assets. Proceeds from the lease will be reinvested in infrastructure, and there will be substantial savings to NSW taxpayers on avoided maintenance. Importantly, these iconic heritage assets will be enjoyed by locals, tourists and visitors, rather than just being used as offices for bureaucrats,” said Perrottet.
Pontiac Land Group currently owns several luxury hotels in Singapore, including the Ritz-Carlton, Capella, Conrad and The Regent, and could potentially brand the property under any of them.
The ‘Sandstones’, as they are called, are subject to the highest level of statutory heritage protection in NSW. Under the proposal, Government Property NSW retains custodianship of the Sandstones, and will apply its in-house heritage management expertise to oversee the transformation during the development approval and construction phases.
Pontiac Land will be responsible for obtaining all design and planning approvals, with construction expected to commence after the buildings are vacated in 2018, and the hotel anticipated to open about three years later.