Box Hill Bowls Club site development

Whitehorse could be sitting on multimillion-dollar Box Hill block if planning report recommends it be rezoned

THE vacant Box Hill Bowls Club could bolster Whitehorse Council’s kitty to the tune of tens of millions of dollars if it’s sold to developers.

The council-owned 5500sq m site at 835 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill, could be a $55 million crackerjack on the market if the land, which is zoned for public use, is recommended for rezoning by an independent planning panel report.

In August last year, the council sold the 7344sq m Station St carpark and Central Box Hill Children’s Services Centre for $51.8 million to property developer Golden Age.

Savills state director Clinton Baxter said if the property was to be “rezoned for higher density development the sale price could potentially eclipse the Station St sale”.

“They could be looking at around $10,000 per square metre for a total of around $55 million,” Mr Baxter said.

Whitehorse acting city development manager Ilias Kostopoulos said the council isn’t considering any options for the former bowls club “at this stage”.

“Whitehorse City Council has owned part of the site since 1911, and the site was leased by the council to the bowling club from 1952 until the bowling club chose to vacate in September 2016,” Mr Kostopoulos said.

Site of the former Box Hill Bowls Club on Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill.

The planning panel heard submissions on the Whitehorse Planning Scheme Amendment C175 in July.

The amendment would give the council an outline on how to plan for central Box Hill by dividing the city into precincts with different planning controls and preferred height limits.

In the proposed amendment the bowls club and the area around it would have a preferred maximum height limit of 30 storeys.

Mr Kostopoulos said the council was expecting to have the panel report released in the next few weeks.

Box Hill is in the middle of an unprecedented building boom, with multiple 30-storey towers either under construction or already approved.

Mr Kostopoulos said the council would continue to monitor the amount of open space in Box Hill through its 2007 Whitehorse Open Space Strategy.

“With regards to Box Hill, council determined it would acquire additional small local open spaces in and around this area, upgrading existing facilities in open space and improving connectivity among identified areas,” Mr Kostopoulos said.

“Since the strategy has been adopted council has purchased four small local open spaces surrounding Box Hill to address walkability to open space and create future parkland.”