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Box Hill rises to new heights; is 150 metres out of the question?

As if dispelling any doubt that Box Hill is the apartment powerhouse in Melbourne's middle-ring suburbs, a number of planning applications are before City of Whitehorse seeking to further boost the emerging skyline.

Golden Age Group have requested a planning amendment to the approved 545-563 Station Street which would see an overall height of the tower increase to 122.8 metres, enabling the project to take the mantle as Box Hill's tallest building when delivered. Approval would move 545-563 Station Street beyond the nearby Whitehorse Towers which is under construction and set to reach 115 metes upon completion.

Long term project architect Buchan Group have refined the tower's exterior with Golden Age adjusting apartment numbers to 450, split between 106 single bedroom, 308 dual bedroom and 36 triple bedroom apartments.

Promotional image of Sky One Box Hill

390 vehicle spaces and 182 bicycle bays service the revised scheme which has been labelled Sky One Box Hill. A new dining hub will cover lower levels with a combined 3,723sqm dedicated toward various restaurant and retail/food premises.

Registrations of Interest are open for the project.

A prospective rival to Golden Age's mantle of tallest in Box Hill may come in the form of 820-824 Whitehorse Road which entered planning during February. Considered one of Box Hill's premier development sites when sold during 2015, agent Savills noted at the time the sales tag of $18.8 million set a record land value for the area.

While details have yet to emerge, the proposed tower is in close proximity to Asian Pacific Group's aforementioned Whitehorse Towers which will for a time hold the mantle as Box Hill's tallest building when completed.

Savills' promotional image of 82-824 Whitehorse Road

Artisan Architects have also created a mixed-use tower for 9 Prospect Street, Box Hill. The curvaceous building was lodged with City of Whitehorse during late 2015 and features 214 apartments.

Spanning 25 levels, 9 Prospect Street also includes 2,915sqm of commercial office space and 204 vehicle bays within the building which holds a GFA of 27,334sqm.

9 Prospect Street may also provide a guide as to what can be expected for 13 Prospect Street & 31-35 Prospect Street. Both were recently offered for sale by agents Colliers International and JLL Australia with multi-level residential developments in mind.

Artisan Architects' second Box Hill venture

The rapid change engulfing Box Hill is also demonstrated by 5 Wellington Road which is subject to a 16 storey building comprising 177 apartments atop basement parking and retail uses. While not startlingly tall at 16 storeys the location of the building is as much as anything a sign of the rapidly changing expectations of developers in areas not accustomed to such heights.

Box Hill-based Shangyi Property are thought to be behind the development, after noting a Wellington Street development site as one of their upcoming projects.

Comment: Can Box Hill break the 150 metre barrier?

Box Hill's first proposal to break the 100 metre barrier surfaced during 2008. Quashed at the time for a number of reasons including excessive height, the site is now subject to Golden Age's Sky One Box Hill.

With that proposal potentially setting a new benchmark at 122 metres, is it inconceivable that Box Hill will host a tower in excess of 150 metres in the not too distant future? There is an abundance of sites both along Whitehorse Road and behind Box Hill Central that may well lend themselves to such a proposal...although ultimately time will tell.

What is becoming evident is that Box hill is on course to match South Yarra's Forrest Hill Precinct for size and sheer apartment numbers in the next year or so; not bad for an Activity Centre roughly 20 kilomentres from the centre of Melbourne that gave Forrest Hill the best part of a 5-7 year head start.

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