Investing in the North Shore’s future

Investing in the North Shore’s future

April 13, 2023 | by DiJones

Sydney’s Upper North Shore continues to be transformed by major infrastructure projects. We explore how they’reimpacting our area, and its property market.

1. NorthConnex

In 2020, the NorthConnex finally opened, linking the M1 motorway at Wahroonga with the M2 at Pennant Hills. In doing so, the tunnel takes traffic away from Pennant Hills Road and provides an alternate (but more expensive) route to the city from the north. Ultimately, the new link road should mean less traffic passing through our suburbs, removing congestion and reducing travel times. The government claims that as many as 5,000 trucks a day have been taken off Pennant Hills Road and that people travelling north to south via the M2 instead of the Pacific Highway will bypass 40 traffic lights.

While it may now seem like one of the missing links in Sydney’s road network, NorthConnexwasn’t the original plan for carrying traffic from Sydney’s north to the south and west. Instead, that was the Lane Cove Valley Expressway, which was to cut its way from Wahroonga, through the pristine bushland of South Turramurra and West Pymble and down through the Lane Cove National Park to the Gladesville Bridge. The project, although ambitious, was canned in 1977 amidst outcries over the potential destruction of the natural environment.

2. Sydney Metro

The currently open sections of Sydney Metro connect the lower North Shore with North West Sydney, passing through Hornsby Shire at Cherrybrook station. The Metro is Australia’s first fully automated driverless train and cuts the travel time between the North West and the city by up to 30 minutes.

By making the North West more accessible, Sydney Metro encourages development in less populated areas, easing the pressure for development on more established parts of the Upper North Shore.

But it will potentially cut travel times too for Upper North Shore residents too. When the new City and Southwest line and its harbour crossing open next year, the Metro will get commuters from Chatswood to Martin Place in just 11 minutes.

New public transport options like Sydney Metro can significantly increase property values in any area, encouraging new residents and further development. After all, the Upper North Shore only really took off in the 1930s with the construction of the harbour bridge, which also connected the North Shore Line directly with stations in the CBD.

3. Hospital upgrades

Last year, a major upgrade to Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai hospital was completed. The project saw the construction of a new clinical services building, an expanded Emergency Department (ED), and a helipad.

Just prior to the pandemic, Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San) also underwent an extensive multi-million development, which introduced new maternity, women’s health and children’s health units. It also launched an integrated cancer centre and healing garden and provided capacity for an extra 200 beds and 12 operating theatres.

Together they ensure our area (which already has the healthiest population in all of Australia) continues to have great health facilities. That’s vital for many local residents and especially makes sure the Upper North Shore remains a prime destination for downsizers and families.

4. Village hubs

Ku-Ring-Gai Council has announced that it will be creating a new Lindfield Village Hub on the Woodford Lane Public Car Park site. The Hub will contain a new library, community centre and childcare facility. It will also feature outdoor dining and café facilities.

Turramurra could well receive its own community hub, too – although late last year council voted to deliver it in stages given financial and planning constraints. It is currently also in negotiations over the sale of land on the site.

Meanwhile, plans for a Gordon Cultural and Civic Hub have been deferred, although the Council is canvassing the idea of creating an ‘eat street’ in St Johns Avenue and its surrounds.

Meanwhile, the Hornsby Town Centre Masterplanis set to introduce a new town square, expanded open spaces and plaza, as well as up to 4,500 new homes.

Done well, projects like these have the potential to revitalise suburban centres (think of the example of Lane Cove on the lower North Shore). But they also need to be well-planned and executed. After all, they often bring new visitors, as well as new residents, and that can mean congestion.

From a real estate point of view, new facilities can be a great thing, leading to price growth for existing homes as an area’s desirability increases.

Want more? Thinking of buying or selling on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, including Ku-Ring-Gai and Hornsby Shire? Get in touch.


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