Bittersweet outcome for Sydney investors


An inner-city Sydney suburb is set to receive thousands of new apartments as part of a state government infrastructure announcement, but the decision comes at the expense of investors in a nearby location. 

The NSW government this week announced that the 31st station in its planned metro project would be located in the suburb of Waterloo, resulting in almost 10,000 new apartments being constructed there and opening up redevelopment opportunities for existing landholders.

Making the announcement, NSW Premier Mike Baird heralded the decision as an opportunity to transform Waterloo, which is a part of Sydney that is home to some of the city’s “most vulnerable”. 

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“The metro station creates the opportunity to transform Waterloo and make it a better place to live for future and existing residents, many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable people in NSW,” Mr Baird said.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, existing private landowners within an 800-metre radius of the new station are likely to see their land rezoned for high- and medium-density development as the project gets underway. 

However, these landowners are expected to be slugged with a “value capture fee” which will be put towards the construction costs of the new metro infrastructure, according to the SMH.

Along with new employment opportunities, the changes are set to see thousands of new apartments constructed in the area.

“Waterloo metro station will be the catalyst for the delivery of an additional 10,000 homes and thousands of new jobs in the precinct for families who live in the area,” NSW Minister for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard explained.

Waterloo is currently home to 2,000 social housing dwellings, with the new dwellings expected to be a mix of social, affordable and privately-owned housing.

“The metro station will transform the Waterloo housing estate for the better, building a dynamic community with better amenities, better homes, better facilities, fantastic transport and more jobs. I can assure Waterloo tenants that if they want to remain in Waterloo after the redevelopment, they can do so,” Mr Hazzard said.

The announcement may be good news for existing Waterloo landholders, but it comes at the expense of investors and homeowners in the suburb of Camperdown.

The choice of location for the 31st metro station was between Sydney University (in Camperdown) and Waterloo.

Investors in Camperdown are likely to be left disappointed by the decision, with some commentators predicting that a train station in the suburb could have driven prices up by ten per cent.

“If Sydney University is added to the Sydney metro grid, I’d expect an immediate impact on prices in Newtown and Camperdown, which could jump by as much as 10 per cent very quickly,” Gerald Hill, of Raine and Horne Newtown, predicted before the decision was announced.

A press release from the NSW government said that Transport for NSW will now look into improving public transport at The University of Sydney through “significant upgrades to Redfern Station and improved pedestrian connectivity through Redfern and Darlington associated with the Central to Eveleigh Urban Transformation Program”.

A press release from the NSW government said that Transport for NSW will now look into improving public transport at The University of Sydney through “significant upgrades to Redfern Station and improved pedestrian connectivity through Redfern and Darlington associated with the Central to Eveleigh Urban Transformation Program”.

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