- The Lands Building, 23 -33 Bridge Street, Sydney
- Department of Education Building, 35 -39 Bridge Street, Sydney
The Sandstone Assets were identified by the Property Asset Utilisation Taskforce for divestment. These are elegant, grandiose buildings that tell a unique and interesting story about the history of NSW and the early colony. In their current state the Sandstones are underutilised and not accessible to the public. Both buildings are State Heritage listed, the highest level of statutory heritage protection in NSW.
To support the government’s tourism objectives and to allow for these significant assets to be opened up and appreciated by the public, the divestment was restricted to the adaptive reuse as luxury boutique hotels. The divestment was by way of long term lease which allows Property NSW to retain custodianship, ensuring the adaptive reuse as hotels and making sure the heritage controls are adhered to.
The Development and Transactions division, utilising its heritage, planning, procurement, and stakeholder management expertise, managed the due diligence and divestment process. The due diligence process involved applying for and obtaining stage 1 development consent, and the endorsement by the NSW Heritage Council of the Conservation Management Plans. The divestment process was a three stage process involving Registration of Interest, Expression of Interest and Final Offers stages.
In September 2015, Pontiac Land was announced as the successful purchaser. The purchase price is $35 million, plus a commitment to undertake an estimated $250 to $300 million of works. The economic benefit of this proposal to the NSW Economy is estimated at $185 million over 20 years.
The Department of Planning and Environment approved the Stage 2 Development Application in April 2018, paving the way for Pontiac Land to commence work on the buildings.
Development and Transactions' role on this exciting project will continue until the opening of the hotel which is expected to be in 2021. The team will monitor the design, approvals and construction phases to ensure adherence with the agreed milestones and timeframes.