1831 Boutique Hotel – 635 George St Sydney

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About the project
Key Details
  • Project summary

    In the late 1800s one of Sydney’s first coffee houses and shopping arcades was built on George Street (1890s). In the mid -1930s, the Haymarket post office was constructed. Today, these 2 buildings stand together as 635 – 790 George Street, Sydney. In the year 2000, both building were purchased by Eight Hotels – the client.  The buildings were converted into one of Sydney’s first backpacker accommodation.

  • What was done

    Firstly, the 2 buildings were joined internally across all floors of the building. Approximately 80 separate accommodation spaces were achieved. The ground floor arcade was maintained and conserved under Heritage 21s guidance and 11 new micro-shops were installed. Both facades were completely conserved by reinstating all original materials like-for-like. The original staircase of the older building was also conserved. This stair remains as the principal entry into the backpacker accommodation.

  • Time frame

    The project commenced in the year 2002. The DA was achieved in 2003 and construction was completed in 2004. It is estimated that the project cost was $6 million.

Services provided
  • Photographic Archival Recording
  • Conservation Management Plan
  • Interpretation Strategy
  • Detailed Technical Drawings
  • Onsite Heritage Architect
  • Liaison with Council, Owner, Builder and Sub-contractors
  • Numerous Heritage Impact Statements
Why was the work undertaken?

The client (Eight Hotels) wished to convert the former coffee house and later post office into backpacker accommodation. The project met with the then strategic planning outlook for Sydney’s gradual integration of residential accommodation into the previously exclusive commercial zone in the CBD.

Who was the work completed for?

The work was undertaken for Eight Hotels


The 2 buildings were conserved, and all their high significance elements were reinstated. The facades were completely cleaned up and repaired. The original Arcade in the Coffee Building were reinstated along with the stairwell. Internally, the two buildings were repurposed, and the ground floor shopping was reactivated along George Street.

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What our clients
& partners say:

“We would also like to take a quick moment to thank you all for your contribution to the project and we will update you on any developments as necessary”

Jose Serrao
Registered Architect

“Dear Heritage 21 team, I am please to advise that all the work prepared by your team has satisfied council’s contentions. We definitely know who to come to next time for heritage matters. ”

Andres Caceres
Level 33

“Thank you for all your work preparing this Statement of Heritage. I sat down yesterday and had a good read cover to cover, and felt very appreciative of your level of research and detailed consideration of our requirements.”

Varuna', Katoomba

“Just wanted to let you know, Council agreed with us in our application to reinstate the front facade! I am so excited. I wanted to thank you for all your help in getting this across the line. ”

Jane Frawley

“It has been a pleasure to work with you and your team as well!”

Holding Redlich

“Dear Heritage 21 team - This is an excellent result, thank you for all your work.”

Sevda Cemil

“Sites with heritage values present great opportunities, however often can be easily derailed if clear, concise and timely advice is not provide at the earliest stages of site planning. I have worked with Heritage 21 over numerous projects across Sydney and have found them to be valuable project partners in the development process. ”

Vince Hardy
Urban Planning Consultant, Cityscapeplanning+projects

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