Sydney’s landmark Lands and Education buildings on Bridge Street – known as “The Sandstones” – are one step closer to being transformed into a world-class hotel, featuring grandly proportioned suites and rooms, retail, dining, gardens and rooftop lounges.
The NSW Government today announced the next stage of a $300 million plan to revitalise the historic buildings, with Singapore-based Pontiac Land Group lodging its Development Application (DA) for the planned transformation.
Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet said the heritage redevelopment would allow locals and visitors to enjoy the history and heritage of the Sandstones for the first time since they were built in the late 1800s.
“It’s a tragedy that so many people have wandered past these incredible buildings for years and never even noticed them,” Mr Perrottet said. “Thanks to this stunning restoration you will get to experience their history and grandeur first-hand.”
“When the Sandstones were first built, their beauty inspired the people of Sydney. This restoration will inspire us all again.”
The designs unveiled by Pontiac Land Group show ground-level retail and dining and a rooftop salon in the Lands building, to be open to the public. More than 250 hotel rooms and suites are included in the plans for the two buildings.
“These designs put more than 100 years of history and heritage on show, while at the same time promising all the features of a truly world-leading hotel,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This transformation is only possible because of the NSW Government’s asset recycling strategy – leasing the buildings has not only enabled a massive heritage investment, it will also boost the local economy, and create hundreds of tourism and construction jobs.”
Modelling from Deloitte Access Economics estimates that Pontiac’s hotel development will deliver a boost to the NSW economy of more than $185 million over 20 years, creating 110 new hospitality jobs and 240 jobs during construction.
Pontiac has extensive experience in the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings, including the flagship Capella Hotel in Singapore. The Sandstones are subject to strict heritage protections, and the development will need to comply with Conservation Management Plans, endorsed by the NSW Heritage Council.
The DA will be considered for approval by the Department of Planning and Environment, and will be on public exhibition from November 17 to December 13.