London Tube and bus stations to become homes and offices
Transport for London turns property developer in a bid to generate revenue without raising fares
Transport for London is planning to develop 50 of its sites into homes and offices, effectively transforming itself into a property company.
The organisation is one of the biggest landowners in London, holding 437 stations and more than 3,000 buildings across 8.9 square miles of land, a total area larger than the borough of Camden.
"Much of this valuable space is occupied by railway tracks, stations and roads, but the portfolio also includes offices, shops, apartments, car parks and spare land attached to them," says The Guardian.
As part of a one-year tender process to be launched next week, up to 50 of these sites will be allocated to between three and six property developers, who will be selected by November this year.
The Financial Times says the move "marks a shift from TfL's previous strategy of selling off land" in a bid to generate more revenue on an ongoing basis.
The newspaper says there are plans to build a range of developments, from "luxury housing in central London to shopping centres next to large stations, and town centre regeneration projects in outer London".
The development sites are yet to be confirmed, but Graeme Craig, TfL commercial development director, told Property Week that they are likely to include South Kensington and Northwood underground stations, Old Street roundabout, Hammersmith and Vauxhall bus stations, Kidbrooke railway station and Morden town centre regeneration.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson says the redevelopment project will enable Tfl to limit the increase in travel fares without relying on cash from taxpayers, while creating new office space and housing for Londoners.
The organisation is hoping to raise £3.4bn from commercial activities over the next ten years, with a third expected to come from property development.
The rest will come from advertising fees, sponsorships and retail sales, such as TfL's "click and collect" partnerships with Amazon, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, and alternative projects such as the herb garden in Clapham North station.
Meanwhile, entrepreneur Ajit Chambers has been working on an investment strategy to turn many of the "ghost stations" lurking beneath the streets of London into businesses, says the Daily Telegraph.