Transport for London is set to become a luxury housing developer in a renewed approach to funding the capital’s transport infrastructure.
TfL is hoping to raise £1bn through developing the sites it owns into various fully-realised properties.
Until now the body, which is responsible for running London’s Tubes, trains buses, has sold off unneeded assets instead of developing them beforehand.
TfL’s annual budget is almost £10bn, with most money coming from fares paid by the public and government subsidies.
But it needs to raise £3.4bn from commercial activity over the next decade, the FT reports.
Unsurprisingly, the organisation is a major land owner in the capital. It currently has over 5,700 acres of real estate over 3,000 different sites. This makes it a serious player in the property world.
It is currently seeking development companies with which it can partner to redevelop more than 500 sites.
According to the FT, Steve Allen, TfL’s managing director for finance, said: “The scale of this is enormous. It will never be TfL’s prime purpose, but if you own over 5,000 acres of land, then you are a property company.”
“We recognise that we need to strengthen the organisation’s [property] skills.” Mr Allen added.