Box Hill gathers momentum

Most readers would be aware of the AXF Group project titled Sovereign Square which has garnered considerable media attention of late owing to the fact it will become suburban Melbourne's tallest building. Whilst Sovereign Square has moved to public registrations of interest via its website, a raft of other projects in Box Hill are set to rapidly transform the scale and feel of the area.

Looking through the Urban Melbourne database Sovereign Square is one of nine projects in Box Hill and Box Hill North that are at various stages of the development cycle. Together these projects will deliver near 1000 new dwellings to the area.

With established education, health, transport and retail options plus a diversified population base Box Hill also lends itself to a myriad of mixed-use developments. Leading the charge is the currently under construction 20 level, near 80 metre office complex at 913 Whitehorse Road. Built by Grocon for Cromwell Property Group, the 19,680 square metre facility is 97% leased to the Australian Taxation Office and marks a break-out tower for Box Hill both in terms of height anf bulk.

On the hotel scene, 1 Elland Avenue (below left) is currently for sale with a pre-lease for the development's 49 serviced apartments held by City Edge Apartment Hotels, adding further diversity to the City of Whitehorse's primary hub.

The latest proposal for Box Hill comes in the form of a dual tower development designed by Peddle Thorp Architects. At 26 levels the complex may well raise eyebrows in the area due to size and height, yet the approval of Sovereign Square has set a precedent to a degree.

Peddle Thorp's take on the project:

The Box Hill Mixed Use Development will consist of 330 apartments over 26 levels. The residential tower amenities are enhanced by the new 'retail street' at ground level. At podium level the 'sky garden' gives access to a range of cafes, bars and restaurants that spill onto a sun filled green space. The second skin to the residential tower allows the occupants to control the light and privacy in their homes, whilst creating a facade which is 'alive' and forever changing.

So what will the Box Hill of the future resemble? South Yarra immediately comes to mind, particularly in terms of developing a mini-skyline with similar proportional characteristics - a throng of medium sized towers of 7-12 levels perforated by a handful of high-rise buildings nearing or beyond the 100 metre mark.

The major advantages that Box Hill holds over suburban centres such as South Yarra, Doncaster Hill or Preston is its well established and centralised institutional and commercial sectors which act as strong employment generators for the area, allowing in part apartment developments to flourish. All the ingredients are there for Box Hill to expand immensely, the question posed is how big could Box Hill of the future become?

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