City businesses and residents appear ready to endure Metro Rail disruption to achieve a great outcome.
For businesses, the lure of even more visitors makes the construction pain worth it. For residents, better public transport will make the city an even better place to live.
20-year-resident Shelley Roberts told CBD News, the disruption couldn’t be worse than the noise from buskers in Swanston St.
“The long-term goal will make it worthwhile. It’s got to happen,” she said. “It will be difficult to rent or sell when it starts happening but the public transport system has to get better. The sooner it starts, the sooner it will be finished.”
Resident Vivek is concerned about night-time noise levels, having just endured a month of sleepless nights due to gas pipe renewal.
“I am very concerned about how the noise levels will affect the livability if they dig the street for two years or more,” Vivek said. “It is very important to establish guidelines on noise levels so residents can sleep.”
Resident Mark Richards also suffered the same inconvenience between 9.30pm and 5.30am, measuring the noise from the gas pipe renewal at 80db from inside his apartment.
“This is ridiculous!” he said. “But as for the future underground train line, I believe it is a fantastic and long-needed project led by Daniel Andrews and the Labor Government.”
“As long as low noise levels are agreed and controlled to a low level I am looking forward to its completion. Melbourne needs more vehicle-reducing infrastructure and a new Metro Rail is just the ticket.”
Swanston St trader Lou Beaumont told CBD News he doubted the project would actually proceed.
“There’s a lot of talk,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen. If it does happen, traders on the other side (east) will be more affected.”
CBRE’s head Melbourne Retail Leasing Zelman Ainsworth said that, while some level of disruption was inevitable, the market would take it in its stride.
He said the project was not affecting current lease applications and renewal negotiations and that tenants were prepared to accept normal rental increases and sign on for extended periods.
“The Metro Rail project really isn’t a factor in what is happening at the moment,” he said. “Tenants are prepared to sign on for five, ten and 15 years, despite what may or may not be coming.”
“Businesses know that a million people are day are still going to be coming into the city and Swanston St will still be Swanston St,” Mr Ainsworth said.