The New South Wales government has taken the first steps in the long process of awarding development rights for the space above a slew of new stations planned for Sydney.
The Government is believed to have issued tender documentation for the design of high-rise towers above six new stations on the Metro City and Southwest line.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the sites include valuable Martin Place, Pitt Street and Barangaroo real estate in the city, as well as Waterloo in the inner east, Victoria Cross in North Sydney and Chatswood.
Some of the biggest developers in the world are likely to put their hat in the ring for one, two or more sites each because of the prime location of each station and the myriad of residential, commercial and retail opportunities that will be available.
It is understood applicants will be asked to submit concept designs ahead of a more detailed, competitive process. The design tender will also give Transport for NSW insight into engineering and station access restrictions to consider as part of station design process.
The concept of offering the sites to private interests who build the rail infrastructure in exchange for development opportunities is based on the success of a similar process in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's railway was built by private company MTR in exchange for property development rights in the airspace above each station. MTR is also building London's Crossrail (pictured), with 12 major property developments over and around stations, covering 280,000 square metres of office, retail and residential space.
"Transport for NSW is investigating the feasibility of over-site development opportunities at some of the proposed new Sydney Metro railway stations," a spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald. "This tender will help Transport for NSW put in place an appropriate delivery strategy to maximise any over site development opportunities as part of delivering Sydney Metro."The government hasn't announced whether property development rights above stations will be awarded in a separate contract to the station construction.