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Multi-billion dollar plans to build above, around Central rail line

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The NSW Government has announced a massive project to renew Sydney’s rail corridor between Central station and Eveleigh that will see the space above and around the 3km rail line redeveloped into a global precinct. </span> <p>Jennifer Perry reports</p><p>The rail corridor to be renewed extends about three kilometres from the Goulburn Street car park in Sydney’s CBD to Macdonaldtown train station and the government says the redevelopment will result in a world-class public domain and improved cross city links.</p><p>Upon calling for expressions of interest for the project last Friday, state minister for planning and infrastructure Brad Hazzard said building above and on the underutilised land could make available more than one million square metres of new floor space – double the size of Bangaroo.</p><p>According to the government’s draft <em>Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney to 2031,</em> released in March, one of the key aims of renewing the corridor is the preservation of future essential transport access. Cross-city connections over the rail corridor will be greatly improved and will ‘bring the city together.'</p><p>“Central and Redfern could have world class stations,” Hazzard said. “There are currently only three crossings over the rail lines, but building above the corridor will allow more crossings to reunite Redfern and Ultimo.”</p><p>The new precinct is planned to have a mix of medium to high density office, education, retail/hospitalisty and residential development.</p><p>As an extension of Sydney’s CBD, the highest density commercial development is likely to be at the northern end around Central station.</p><p>One of Australia’s biggest advocates for land value capture, Curtin University’s Professor Peter Newman, told <em>Rail Express </em>the government’s plans to renew the corridor is a “no brainer” but warns the opportunity for land value capture will be missed if some of the revenue gained from the redevelopment is not put back into the railway itself.</p><p>“This is definitely the right approach for Sydney at this time in its history. The underutilised land has been sitting there for many years so a project like this is definitely the right approach, though it is simply common sense,” Newman said.</p><p>However, he says the project must be undertaken using a PPP that enables the rail system to be upgraded and financed through the &quotimmense land development opportunities.&quot</p><p>“It is important to ensure that the railway land development is hypothecated into the rail system and not into general revenue.The government could finance the entire North West Rail Link project with the profits from this corridor renewal if they wanted to,&quot he said.</p><p>The government hopes to create a world class development similar to Kings Cross and St Pancreas stations in London, the Manhattan West development over Penn St station in New York, and the Transbay Centre in San Francisco.</p><p>It says the renewal will &quotallow for&quot its future transport initiatives including a second harbour rail crossing and new CBD rail line new infrastructure to support rail services and new light rail and bus interchanges.</p><p>The government is inviting proposals for the redevelopment of all or part of the corridor. Expressions of interest are being led by the NSW Government’s new development corporation, UrbanGrwoth NSW, along wtih input from transport agencies</p><p>FYI visit: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/StrategicPlanning/CentraltoEveleighcorridor/tabid/669/language/en-US/Default.aspx">www.planning.nsw.gov.au/StrategicPlanning/CentraltoEveleighcorridor/tabid/669/language/en-US/Default.aspx</a></p><p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp</p>