Central Station

Central Station


Melbourne covered its city railway lines with Federation Square and Sydney has several apartment blocks sitting over tracks in St Leonards and Chatswood. But this plan - if ever implemented - will change Sydney forever.

It creates a bridge between the inner city and the inner west, transforming suburbs such as Everleigh, Redfern, Chippendale and Erskineville.

Double the size of Barangaroo, it would reclaim valuable inner-city land for uber development that could make a huge dent in the city's shortfall of housing.

The chief of developer lobby group Urban Taskforce, Chris Johnson, says Sydney needs about 80,000 new apartments.

"I think they could build about 50,000 apartments here," he says.

Best of all, it's right on the city's doorstep, which is where most people want to live.

The big question that Sydney's first home buyers and young families will be asking: will it make housing more affordable?

Well, it's not on the waterfront, so the apartments won't command Barangaroo-style prices. But this won't be cheap housing either.

Building over working railway lines is expensive, so developers will want their money back, and more. Expect towers of 50 storeys just to make it viable.

Community groups will no doubt hate the scale.

Yet big developments - if released all at once - can lower prices across the market.

You can see it happening now at Melbourne's Docklands. But don't hold your breath for this Sydney revolution - clearly, it's at least 20 years away.

So, plenty of time to save up for an apartment there.

Source: smh.domain.com.au/real-estate-news/railway-apartments-will-change-sydney-forever-20130712-2puhp.html