Orion International Group and Box Hill Institute propose 29-storey building

Orion International Group has signed an agreement with Box Hill Institute to replace an open-air car park with a mixed-use complex rising 29 storeys above a podium.

The approximate 2630 square metre site at 16-18 Spring Street, Box Hill, was recently rezoned for the college to allow for such a tower.

The proposed predominantly residential complex will include a purpose-built “leading edge” nurse training facility for Box Hill Institute and “active” ground floor frontage, which is expected to be occupied by hospitality or retail users. A four-level basement car park will be used by both the college and incoming apartment residents.

Architects Elenberg Fraser and Silver Thomas Hanley (which specialises in health care buildings) have been appointed to “lead the design” of the complex. RCP (Vic) will be the development and project manager for the tower, construction of which is expected to begin early next year and be complete in 2021.

This site, and another nearby at 1000 Whitehorse Road, made headlines last year when Box Hill Institute applied to planning minister Richard Wynne for new planning schemes.

It was proposed the Whitehorse Road property be rezoned from public to commercial use as the college wanted to sell the land to the Epworth Eastern private hospital.

In June, 2017, Box Hill Institute began an expressions of interest campaign seeking a developer to replace 16-18 Spring Street, which at the time it was seeking to rezone Mixed Use.

Box Hill, a metropolitan Melbourne activity centre about 14 kilometres east of the CBD, has recorded substantial high-rise redevelopment in recent years. The proposed Sky One tower at 545 Station Street, will feature apartments, retail and dining areas in a 36-storey complex rising 123 metres – set to be the suburb’s tallest structure.

Local developer Deague Group has recently been constructing a complex, Whitehorse Towers, with two buildings, of 26 and 36 storeys, containing more than 500 apartments and a 100-room hotel.

Last year, private investors associated with Spotlight Group banked about $50 million selling to an apartment builder a low-rise haberdashery on a 4248 square metre block of land at 845-851 Whitehorse Road. In 2016, it was reported a China-backed residential developer paid $32 million for a 2650 square metre block at 826-830 Whitehorse Road.

Two months ago, MS Limited, a not-for-profit group, confirmed it paid $9.5 million for a four-storey Box Hill office at 120 Thames Street, which had only recently been built by ex-Colliers International agent turned property developer, Tim Bolton.

The suburb’s first high-rise tower, at 913 Whitehorse Road, is also an office. Completed by Grocon in 2015, the 20-storey complex with 19,000 square metres of A-grade office space, 690 square metres of retail space and 613 car parks, was built to accommodate about 1250 staff from the Australian Taxation Office.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of realestatesource.com.au