Date Published 09 February 2015
Last week it was unveiled that plans have been put in place to convert disused or 'quiet' elements of London's network of underground stations, buildings and land into tourist attractions, luxury apartments and new homes. The proposed project has created a year-long, £3.4 billion bidding war for potential clients and retailers to carry out the construction work and planning.
The project will transform 50 tube stations, bus stations and relevant buildings and properties into profit generating businesses; an investment that will improve the capital's transport infrastructure whilst catering for London's ever-expanding population.
Boris Johnson is backing the plans, as he claimed the 10-year development project will 'unlock revenues from Transport for London assets, will also helping to reduce the increase in travel fares for commuters and tourists.'
There is no denying that the project will benefit London enormously, chiefly through higher revenue streams and generating more tourist attractions. The project portfolio is concerned with transporting disused stations, many abandoned after the Second World War, as this represents an opportunity for sustained development in the city.
Graeme Craig, Transport for London's director of commercial development, stated that: 'London needs more homes and office spaces and the transport network needs sustained, long-term investment.' While transport will remain at the heart of the organisation, this is the first step to TfL 'unlocking its property estate,' Mr Craig added.
The project will likely begin at some point in the next 2-3 years, as the bids for tender must first be settled; however, the completion date may not be for another 15-20 years. It certainly represents an opportunity for investors and businesses to make their mark in building on London's ever-improving sustainability measures.