Central Station to be transformed into ‘mid-town’ with apartments, hotels and shops
THE first steps in the transformation of the Central Station precinct into “mid-town” were confirmed today.
Units, offices and even a hotel are set to spring up above the rail lines in a project that will dwarf the $6 billion Barangaroo precinct.
Along a 3km corridor from Central to Eveleigh, where more than one million square metres of space will be created, commuters will travel under unit and office towers up to 20 storeys high and enter a station filled with shops, restaurants and bars.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance unveiled the new Sydney Metro station designs, which will be the springboard of the urban overhaul.
The new metro stations will be built 25m below the existing rail line, delivering brand new station designs capable of supporting unit and office towers up to 20 storeys high at the nation’s busiest railway station, providing capacity to handle the expected 66 per cent daily increase in passengers to be generated by the metro.
Ms Berejiklian said the 3km corridor from Central to Eveleigh offered the chance to provide people with a world class precinct.
“There are a lot of opportunities here at Central Railway Station. The government has along with the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure along with other parts of government been looking at ways in which we can enhance this precinct,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
“If you go to any of the great railway stations around the world they do have amazing precincts and there is a lot of potential here.
“Today is really about how we deliver the metro and also about delivering better customer services and what I love about many cities around the world is that it is really easy to change from one mode of transport to the other and this will make it the case here.
“Especially between light rail, bus and train customers and also if you are catching regional trains. For many regional train customers coming in from the country who need to switch services it will be much easier.”
Sydney Trains chief executive officer Howard Collins said the transformation of Tube stations in London, including King’s Cross St Pancras, demonstrated what could be done at Australia’s busiest railway station but said the first step was getting the metro built.
“Why wouldn’t you centre shops, apartments and all those other things in a place where 400,000 people a day are going to grab a coffee and may want to live, want to use a hotel. So why wouldn’t you want to use something like this as a focal point,” Mr Collins said.
“We are looking forward to seeing what those proposals could be in the future and we are very welcome to everyone in the world coming to us and seeing what can they do for Central to put it firmly on the map like many other cities around the globe.”
Construction on the new stations will start at the end of 2018 and take three years to complete.
More than 270,000 people use the station daily and over the next two decades that is expected to reach 450,000, making it the perfect place to concentrate both housing and commercial opportunities.
Housing plans also include a mix of affordable and student accommodation, which could be built by 2031.
At Central Station yesterday, midwifery student Amy Houston, 20, said it was an exciting opportunity for people to live, study and work close to the city.
“I think it would be great for students like myself, it would save me over an hour of travel to get to classes,” Ms Houston said.
“If they keep apartment prices down and make it nice with bars and restaurants, I think it would be great. I just hope they preserve the heritage … the old station is really beautiful.”
Under the plan, the airspace above the Lee St Bus Depot and the rail lines north of Cleveland St and north of Lawson St at Redfern will be developed. It is estimated there will be 18,450 new units and enough office space to cater for 25,225 jobs.
Commuters will start seeing work on the station’s redesign in mid-2018 when platforms 13-15 will be shut for the construction of new Sydney Metro stations 25m below.
These new stations are expected to cater for 11,750 customers during the morning peak by 2036.
Transport for NSW said Central would soon become one of the state’s most important transport hubs.
Source: Ian Paterson, “Central Station to be transformed into ‘mid-town’ with apartments, hotels and shops”, The Daily Telegraph, March 21, 2017