Two heritage-listed buildings on Bridge Street, known as the ‘Sandstones’, are getting a $300 million transformation into a luxury hotel.

News of the redevelopment comes at a time of significant change in Sydney’s CBD. While construction of the George Street tramline is well underway, Sydney will soon witness large-scale demolitions to make way for the $11 billion Metro line connecting the North Shore to the South West.

Tunneling for the rail network is set to begin before the end of 2018. Six buildings on Martin Place and 13 buildings on Pitt Street have already been earmarked for demolition, some up to 22 storeys high.

The Edwardian buildings span two blocks and have been closed to the public since the 1800s – used as government buildings and currently home to the Land and Education Offices.

Now, one of Singapore’s largest developers, Pontiac Land Group (Capella Singapore) has paid the NSW government $35 million for the 103-year lease, with plans for a rooftop salon and observatory open to the public.

Lead by Make Architects (also behind the revamp of Wynyard station), the hotel will have 253 rooms – many with harbour views – as well as retail and dining offerings on the ground floor, and an inner lounge area and green courtyard. The historic façade will be retained.