A rendering of the lobby of the new Sydney CBD hotel from Built and Irongate Group.

CBRE Hotels has been engaged to conduct a search for an international luxury hotel brand to operate a new development in the Sydney CBD which, when complete, will feature a 240-room hotel overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour.

A State Significant Development Application has been lodged and an Unsolicited Proposal is now underway as a joint venture between developers Built and Irongate Group to acquire the long-term 99-year leasehold of the NSW Government-owned 50 Phillip Street. Currently a state heritage listed property and the former Department of Justice Building, the plans call for an amalgamation with a new 49-storey tower to be constructed at 52 Phillip Street, owned by Built, which together will become a mixed-use luxury hotel and partial residential tower.

An external view of the proposed development between Phillip Street and Macquarie Street.

The new tower will be clearly separated from the heritage façade, retaining the visibility of the roofscape and building form through careful restoration. The hotel entrance and portico will be situated in Phillip Lane, with a Manhattan-style awning and concierge service to feature.

Once the Unsolicited Proposal process and completed plans are approved, an international design competition, held in compliance with NSW Government design rules, will be undertaken to determine the most striking and attractive look for the site.

The new development calls for a 240-room luxury hotel with 16 managed branded residences.

The proposed project will feature 240 hotel rooms and 16 hotel branded residences within a new tower to be constructed on Built’s owned site at 52 Phillip Street. The new tower will also offer an infinity swimming pool on Level 35 overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour. Other facilities will include a spa, fitness and wellness centre.

Following spatial restoration of 50 Phillip Street, plans call for an adaptive re-use plan for the heritage building which will see it include the hotel lobby, public restaurants, bars and function spaces and a variety of retail offerings. The original internal organisation and circulation will be clarified and reinforced, with surviving interior joinery restored and new work will interpret the features and detailing of original finishes.

The hotel will feature views over the Opera House and Sydney Harbour.

Built Development Director, Jono Cottee, said he was excited to be delivering this project for Sydney in this iconic location.

“It’s no secret that Sydney as a world class city has been lacking in the luxury hotel market so there is definitely opportunity for these international brands that don’t have a foothold to get a luxury hotel in Sydney,” Cottee said.

“This building’s location in the eastern part of the city will be iconic for the skyline of Sydney, enhancing Sydney as a world class tourism destination.”

An infinity swimming pool on Level 35 will be among the guest facilities.

Built CEO and Managing Director, Brett Mason, said the development represented a unique opportunity to bring a new lease of life to one of Sydney’s heritage buildings and to make it more accessible for locals and tourists, while increasing public use and foot traffic.

“Our plans for a luxury hotel mixed-use development will do this while preserving the important history of 50 Phillip Street that reflect the unique nineteenth century architecture of the former NSW colony,” Mason said.

“This history will be restored, conserved and opened to the people of NSW in our development for the first time.”

Cottee said pending approvals, construction was earmarked to begin in late 2022, with a view to opening to guests in 2025.