Golden Age plans to start construction in the middle of next year on a mixed-use project it will call New China Town in Melbourne’s Box Hill, after getting a ministerial permit amending the site to support the development.
The project, incorporating separate sites at 517 and 519-521 Station Street, as well as at 2-8 Oxford Street, will comprise 12,000 square metres across a three-level retail podium and two 18-storey towers. It will be adjacent to Golden Age’s 36-level Sky One mixed-use development.
Golden Age founder Jeff Xu said on Monday construction would take a maximum of 30 months, but declined to provide further details about the project, which required a planning amendment from minister Richard Wynne to make the land – part of which is now used as a car park – developable.
“The amendment … approves a planning permit which allows for the development and use of land for the construction of buildings and works, comprising retail premises, office, restricted recreational facility (gymnasium), medical centre, childcare centre, a reduction in the requirements for car parking and alteration of access to a road,” the government gazette says.
Golden Age purchased the 519-521 Station Street site from Whitehorse Council in 2016 for a reported $51.8 million.
As the apartment development market is slowing, developers such as Golden Age are seeking to boost their exposure to other property sectors, such as retail, hospitality and industrial.
In June, Golden Age Group launched a $450 million apartment development above The Glen shopping centre in suburban Melbourne after securing the air rights from its owner, Vicinity Centres. It was the largest air-rights transfer in Australia to date.
Mr Xu disclosed news of the project on the sidelines of an announcement at the National Gallery of Victoria of next year’s Winter Masterpieces exhibition, of which Golden Age is the main sponsor.
The Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition, which will run from May until October next year, will display 150 pieces of the Qin Emperors terracotta army from Shaanxi province, the second such time the NGV has hosted some of them. It will feature eight warrior figures, two life-sized horses and two half-sized replica bronze chariots.
The terracotta warriors will feature alongside works of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang in an exhibit titled The Transient Landscape.
“As a Chinese Australian, it is an honour for me to be a part of bringing this world-exclusive exhibition to Melbourne,” Mr Xu said.
“It is our belief that property and architecture have the power to shape history and the culture of society, just as art does.”