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15 Jul 2022

Sydney Metro Revealed Twin Skyscrapers for Hunter Street Station

Sydney Metro Revealed Twin Skyscrapers for Hunter Street Station

The New South Wales government intends to construct two commercial skyscrapers of more than 50 stories each on top of a new train station at Hunter Street in downtown Sydney.

The two over-station towers, worth an estimated $103 million, are part of the government's $6.5 billion Sydney Metro West rail line, a 24-kilometer train link between Westmead and the CBD.

Sydney Metro's Scoping Reports have highlighted ideas for a first tower of up to 58 stories with 84,300 square metres of retail and commercial space on the eastern end of the proposed Hunter Street Station. The tower will be built on a 3694sq m plot of land at the intersection of O'Connell, Hunter, and Bligh streets.

A second 51-story skyscraper with around 70,000 square metres of retail and commercial space lies on 3736 square metres spanning various locations on the proposed station's western end, including five in George Street, three in Hunter Street, and two in De Mestre Place.

The scoping reports were developed by Sydney Metro, a division of Transport for NSW, to establish project specifics for the Planning Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARS). Based on that, an Environmental Impact Statement for a future development application of "state significance" will be created.

According to Sydney Metro, a planning proposal request was made to Sydney City Council at the end of May, requesting adjustments to planning restrictions for both the eastern and western Hunter Street Station sites.

They request a maximum building height of 148.2m to 220m for the western site. The location is currently occupied by a mix of commercial office buildings, restaurants, stores, and some company premises. All of them will be dismantled to make way for the western tower.

Within the site's limits are two state-heritage designations, including the former Skinners Family Hotel on George Street, a three-story building constructed in the Old Colonial Regency style by Henry Robertson and dating back to 1845.

The Tank Stream tunnel, a late-nineteenth-century freshwater conduit, runs along the site's eastern perimeter.

Both will be kept, and the Skinners Family Hotel will be included into the new building.

For the eastern tower site, Sydney Metro wants a maximum development height of 238.9m to 269.1m. According to them, the heights of the two buildings will differ in order to meet with sun-access-plane requirements.

The Sydney Metro is a fully automated, fast transit system with a single 36-kilometer route connecting Tallawong and Chatswood.

Hunter Street is one of nine new stations on the Sydney Metro West line that are currently under development and are scheduled to open in 2030.

It will more than increase train capacity between Greater Parramatta and Sydney's CBD, reducing travel time to around 20 minutes.

“All Sydney Metro West stations are being designed to integrate with their surrounding areas to make vibrant and attractive places that reflect the unique context and future aspirations for each place,” the report says.

It cites the Central Sydney Planning Strategy, which it claims highlighted prospects for greater height and density in specific sites, as well as the requirement to accommodate up to 85,000 extra employment in the CBD by 2036.

According to Sydney Metro, its proposal will prioritise job creation and expand work capacity in the new tower clusters.

“It will ensure infrastructure keeps pace with growth; protect, enhance and expand Central Sydney’s heritage public places and spaces, and move people more easily by prioritising streets for walking and cycling,” the report says.