With an enviable blend of outer suburb comforts, plenty of educational facilities, easy access to Melbourne's centre and an abundance of restaurants and shops, Box Hill is fast becoming Melbourne’s second CBD.
Travel along the popular 109-tram route or Belgrave and Lilydale train line and, unbeknown to many, lives a gold mine of eastern suburbs. In recent years, these areas have flourished to become desirable places for families, young couples and singles to take up residence. One such area that has proven opportunistic to suburbans, city-dwellers and developers is Box Hill.
With housing supply in the CBD and inner-city suburbs becoming increasingly scarce, a large population increase in some of Melbourne’s outer suburbs such as Deepdene, Hawthorn and Kew has occurred. This trend will inevitably lead to an increase in jobs and local amenities which means exciting growth for many outer suburbs.
Box Hill truly is the gem of the eastern suburbs and its steady population growth and opportunities have not gone unnoticed. Astute developers are fast creating livable communities to greet the suburb's growing demands. Box Hill’s centre is identified as a metropolitan activity zone in the Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne strategy and substantial growth is forecasted for the suburb’s employment, housing, business, services and public investment. Its population is predicted to grow by 26% in the next five years following a growth of 35% in the last 13 years.
To accommodate and service the influx of residents, recent major investments in Box Hill include the $447.5 million redevelopment of Box Hill Hospital, the construction of the $120 million Australian Tax Office building and the $30 million-plus redevelopment of Aqualink to create one of Australia’s most modern and innovative aquatic and leisure centres.
One developer lending particular focus to Box Hill’s considerable growth potential and wealth of residential benefits is Golden Age Group. They have two major projects underway already in the heart of Box Hill – Sky One at the peak of Box Hill’s central hilltop at 545 Station Street and Sky One’s sister project which is two minutes’ walk away on the corner of Station Street and Cambridge Road. The 36-storey, 438 apartment project is ideally positioned with Box Hill Central shopping centre on its doorstep and the hugely popular Asian fresh food market just next door.
Box Hill is an outstanding example of growth outside of the CBD and inner city. It is the most significant activity centre in Melbourne’s eastern region and already provides residents with CBD-like facilities including shopping, dining, transport, education, hospitals, entertainment and recreation, all within a short walk.
This mini-CBD is already a major destination that attracts thousands of shoppers and diners with a diversity of cuisines and restaurants that rival Melbourne’s Chinatown. A flourishing Chinese community has called Box Hill home since the 1980s and many families who travel to Box Hill from around Melbourne to eat and shop have now relocated to its centre or aspire to. Its central activity area is now home to around 4,000 residents with a high level of cultural diversity.
Box Hill is also home to approximately 16,000 jobs across a wide range of sectors including retail, hospitality, professional, public service, medical and education. Box Hill Hospital treats approximately 48,000 patients a year and employs 4,500 staff, along with the Australian Tax Office having approximately 1250 employees.
There are around 60,000 students in Box Hill with 40,000 of them at the Box Hill Institute and the remaining attend various primary and secondary schools including Our Lady of Sion College, Box Hill Senior Secondary College, St Francis Xavier Primary School and Box Hill High School which ranked in the top 10 of Victoria’s best state schools.
Box Hill residents benefit from exceptional access to amenities throughout Melbourne via the train, bus and tram networks and the Eastern Freeway and Eastlink. Belgrave and Lilydale train lines stop at Box Hill railway station and commuters have a quick 20-minute trip to Melbourne Central.
At 517 Station Street, Sky One’s sister project will incorporate luxury apartments, premium retail, a boutique hotel, entertainment, a 104-place childcare facility and large, open public spaces including a rooftop terrace garden. The Box Hill community will also benefit from a new health and well-being centre and the possibility of a cinema complex.
Golden Age Group managing director Jeff Xu says the Sky One project and Sky One’s sister project provide a rare and valuable opportunity to contribute to and participate in the growth of one of Melbourne’s most dynamic areas. He commented, “With Sky One and its sister project, we will provide a significant amount of open public space, retail and entertainment for the community and we are also building a large childcare centre which will accommodate three times the number of children in the existing facility on site.”
Construction of Sky One started earlier this year and is on schedule for completion in mid-2019. Following Sky One’s resounding success, Golden Age Group have revealed plans for another ground-breaking site in Box Hill.