Barangaroo is getting even bigger and will have an underground Metro station

The New South Wales government has added an underground Metro station to the tender specifications for the final stage of the waterside Barangaroo development on the edge of Sydney’s CBD.

NSW premier Mike Baird announced the new tender process today, addressing one of the key concerns about a lack of public transport infrastructure for the 22 hectare waterfront site, which is meant to host 40,000 workers, along with 7000 residents, by 2036.

Central Barangaroo is the final 5.2 hectare part of of the precinct to be designed, linking the recently completed Barangaroo Reserve headland at the northern end advocated by former prime minister Paul Keating and Barangaroo South, currently under construction, which includes James Packer’s hotel and casino.

But the “developer creep” that has been a feature of Barangaroo, regularly increasing the density of the site, has struck again, even after the floor space for central Barangaroo was already doubled from 60,000 square metres to 120,000 sqm.

The 7.7 hectare Barangaroo South site nearly doubled from original 389,511 sqm of floor space in the 2006 concept plan to more than 600,000sqm.

The new tender adds another 30,000 sqm of floor space to the Central site, which Barangaroo Delivery Authority CEO Craig van der Laan says will help pay for the Metro station, which he called “a game changer”.

“It will link employers at Barangaroo directly with employees in Sydney’s north and west. And it ensures that everyone in NSW can take advantage of this revitalised part of Sydney’s CBD,” said van der Laan.

More than half the site – 3 hectares – is allocated to public recreation facilities. The government says the existing 2.2 hectare development footprint will be maintained, but bidders will be encouraged “to explore below-ground opportunities that make best use of the metro station”.

The premier said adding the station “demands a bold design”.

Bidding for the Central Barangaroo tender opens on December 1.

Development expected to commence mid-2017, with staged development through to 2023.

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