10,000 new homes for Waterloo as part of Metro project

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The inner south Sydney suburb of Waterloo is set to benefit from an injection of government spending, after the suburb was chosen as the preferred location for a Sydney Metro station.

The decision ends speculation about where the 31st Metro station would be located after plans for the City & Southwest line, released last month, showed the government was still deciding whether it would be located in Waterloo or at the University of Sydney.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said Waterloo was chosen as the preferred site as it provides the government an opportunity to revitalise the suburb.

“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,” Baird said.

As part of the revitalisation the ageing Waterloo social housing estate will be progressively renewed, with the government saying there will be no loss of social housing from the current 2,000 dwellings.

The government claims the redevelopment will help it deliver thousands of new homes to 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 Planning Rob Stokes said.

Speaking to Your Investment Property Magazine when the initial plans for the City & Southwest line were released, Rich Harvey, managing director of Property Buyer, said areas around the Metro project will benefit from it.

“A project like this is absolutely a good thing for the market,” Harvey said.
“With infrastructure projects like this there are two periods where it can have a dramatic effect on prices. The first is when the announcement is made and the second is just after the project is completed,” he said.

But while Harvey said the project will help prices in the area, development lobby group Urban Taskforce has raised concerns that the government could artificially inflate places through development levies.

In a statement announcing the station’s location the government said it “investigate a Special Infrastructure Contribution around Waterloo station to be reserved for the Sydney Metro project,” which Urban Taskforce claims could add up to $20,000 to price of a new apartment in the suburb.

“The price of new housing will go through the roof if it has to fund rail infrastructure and social housing. While the new apartment market has been booming in the last year there are signs that this is tapering off,” Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson said.

“The Urban Taskforce is very supportive of the renewal of social housing estates by building significant numbers of private housing units to help subsidise the new social housing units. Our concern at Waterloo is that the potential addition of a value capture tax similar to that proposed for the Parramatta Light Rail could add $20,000 to the cost of each new private dwelling,” he said.

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