Land values have soared since the announcement of the light rail upgrade on Sydney’s George Street according to Colliers International, with rental rates increasing by more than $5,000 – $5,500 per square metre. Associate Director, Retail Leasing, Mark Hudson recently told The Sydney Morning Herald:
“Historically Pitt Street Mall has been the most desired location for fashion retailers, with rents ranging between $10,000 – $14,000 per square metre with Vodafone recently committing at $17,000 per square metre, but now the mall is at capacity and demand for space is increasing, spilling over onto George Street and the surrounding areas.”
George Street is currently seeing a rise in foot traffic as a result of restricted vehicle access, with the light rail predicted to bring even more people to the area when complete.
The light rail project was launched to cater to the projected 1.6 million additional people who will live and work in the city by 2035. It is expected to remove 220 buses from CBD traffic congestion during peak rush hours.
The NSW Government has identified almost $4 billion worth of benefits to be generated by the project. A majority (57%, or $2.2 billion) will result from public transport benefits, but the project is also expected to provide:
- $264 million worth of benefits from decongestion, operating savings and road safety improvements
- Journey time savings and amenity improvements worth an estimated $333 million for pedestrians
- $707 million in public transport operational savings, including increased revenues
- Environmental and social benefits worth $308 million, including a reduction in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
- Wider economic benefits worth $222 million, including the sustainability benefits of improved urban renewal opportunities
The Driving Growth in Light Rail Conference, taking place in Sydney this July, will focus on strategies for effectively funding, planning and delivering light rail. Book your place by May 20th to save $400.