Vicinity Centres Reveals Billion-Dollar Box Hill Precinct Plans


Vicinity Centres hopes to build a billion-dollar precinct over two large land holdings in Box Hill including an office tower, hotel, new town square and 1,900 apartments.

The first three applications worth $683 million have been lodged to the City of Whitehorse as part of the larger 250,000sq m mixed-use development across seven sites.

Vicinity had been working with council and the Victorian Government to develop the area in stages starting with a a 25-storey commercial office building next to Box Hill train station with a total investment value of $377 million, a $285 million 48-plus-storey residential building with 366 apartments as well as office and retail space and a $21 million 3,350sq m public space.

To transform the 5.5 hectare urban regeneration project in Melbourne by 2030, Vicinity engaged ARM to create the masterplan with buildings designed by Bates Smart and landscaping in the public space by Lat 27.

The applications follow a rough start to the year for the ASX-listed regional mall landlord who withdrew guidance and distribution following the onset of Covid-19 which caused more than half of Vicinity Centres stores to close until May.

Related: Vicinity Launches $1.4bn Raising, Drops Distribution

▲ Vicinity Centres plan to build the new heart of Box Hill including a Spanish Steps-inspired amphitheatre, town square and a new extension of Main Street for hosting events, entertainment, art and music.
▲ Vicinity Centres plan to build the new heart of Box Hill including a Spanish Steps-inspired amphitheatre, town square and extension of Main Street for hosting events.

Box Hill Central, south precinct was acquired by Vicinity in 2000 and the north precinct in 2001 however no major works have been undertaken on the sites surrounding Box Hill station in 10 years.

Vicinity chief development officer Carolyn Viney said they had already submitted the office tower and public space applications and expect to lodge the residential tower application by the middle of the year.

“Our vision reflects our long-term confidence in the Box Hill region and Melbourne’s future growth,” Viney said.

“As Victoria’s fastest growing metropolitan activity centre outside the CBD, Box Hill Central already welcomes 26 million visitors every year.

“Connecting people together and breathing new life into the centre of Box Hill by reinvigorating its public places is one of the most important project outcomes.

“Vicinity’s revitalisation plan seeks to do this by building on all of Box Hill’s existing strengths and retaining the things that make it unique.

“Over the lifecycle of the project, Vicinity would be creating 2,400 direct jobs for construction workers and, upon completion, there will be up to 6,000 new jobs in the precinct,” Viney said.

▲ The proposed commercial office building by Vicinity Centres at Box Hill Central.
▲ The proposed 42,000sq m commercial office building by Vicinity Centres has 25-levels, located in the heart of the town centre, next to Box Hill train station.

The offices, hotel, residential apartments and public space would be located on the north development site on Whitehorse Road.

The southern site would consolidate the majority of existing retail offerings between Main Street and Carrington Road.

There would also be new walkways and roads to connect the areas as well as adding a new town square with amphitheatre-style steps and the revitalisation of the Main Street pedestrian thoroughfare.

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