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Building boom looms in Oslo

Norway's biggest city, which has seen housing prices skyrocket in recent years, may be on the verge of a residential building boom. New projects are planned all over town, most within core urban areas.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday that plans have been revived for a residential and commercial project that would be built on top of the busy Majorstuen tram station.

The project would encompass adjacent land in the area now controlled by the firm running the city's transit system, but also would involve covering the tram station and tracks, and building on top of them.

It could include up to 1,000 housing units and a new hotel, along with commercial space.

The idea is to build more housing close to public transit, a move that also would generate huge potential revenues for the city's beleaguered transit system. Most of the land at popular Majorstuen, for example, is underutilized with open lots and repair and storage sheds that could be moved.

City and transit officials are eyeing several other projects at tram stations, with the Majorstuen plans furthest along.

Another major housing project could see 7,600 units built at Ensjø on the city's east side. The area today is home largely to car dealerships and repair shops, but could go through a massive transformation, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

The NOK 10 billion project is being spearheaded by some of owners of the dealerships themselves, along with other industrial occupants.