City and SBB announce CHF 1.8 billion project
The city of Zurich and the SBB have announced ambitious plans for huge development of flats and commercial premises adjacent to railway lines in three main locations costing some CHF 1.8 billion in all.
Speaking at the presentation of the project last Wednesday, mayoress Corinne Mauch of the SP party said there had never been a project of this size in Switzerland before. She said negotiations with the SBB had been long and hard but they had eventually come to an agreement.
The areas earmarked for development are between Hohlstrasse and the tracks by the Letzipark, near Neugasse in District 5, and near Hardbrücke on the outskirts of District 4, covering 140,000 square metres in all, twice as much as the Europaallee development to the south of the railway tracks by Zurich Main Station. All of them will have housing developments and commercial premises as well as areas for logistics purposes.
Commenting on the plans, SBB-CEO Andreas Meyer said that had had been very pleased to see the first initial designs, adding that it was thanks to greater efficiency that areas such as those near Hohlstrasse and Neugasse would be able to be freed up as trains could now be serviced elsewhere.
Speaking in his capacity as the city’s director of planning, André Odermatt, also of the SP party, said he was particularly pleased that the flats to be built on the Neugasse area would be more affordable ones, rather than luxury ones.
It is on this Neugasse area where work is to start first and there is already a website where people can register and take part in discussion about what they would like to see there, something which the mayoress considers very important, though it should be mentioned that building will not start here until 2020, or 2024 at the latest. Odermatt mentioned that in addition to housing and commercial areas there would be schools and public open spaces, too.
As for the Hohlstrasse development, it is hoped to encourage start-up companies, too, to operate from here.
It is thought the Stöckli site, at 70,000 square metres the largest of them all, will be the most difficult to develop; completion here is not expected until 2030-31.
It is not unsurprising that tenants’ associations have been calling for more affordable flats to be built on these SBB sites, rather than the luxury ones such as on the Europaallee development.