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Hawthorn's Apartment Developments

Over the decades Hawthorn's housing landscape has adapted as Melbourne's population has swelled. In August this year Melbourne's population reached 5 million. Approximately a decade ago, there was a wave of development of student style accommodation in Glenferrie Hawthorn, meeting the housing demands of Swinburne University. Now we are experiencing a wave of medium to high-density residential developments in the area. Since 2013, five residential developments have been completed and six are currently underway. Between these 11 developments, that is nearly 1,000 new apartments added to the area.

In 2015, between the 2011 and 2016 census, the Glenferrie ward boundaries were changed, and the Glenferrie ward area reduced due to the increase in population in the area. The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) need "to ensure each voter is equitably represented" and "that the number of voters represented by each councillor is within 10% of the municipality average."

According to the 2011 census, 33.4% of private dwellings in Hawthorn were separate houses and in 2016, this number reduced to 23%. According to the Residential Building Approvals, in 2007-08 Boroondara saw 211 building approvals for non-house dwellings (more than one residential unit within the same structure). In 2016-17 however, there were 1,304 approvals for non-house dwellings.

The medium to high-density apartments in Glenferrie Hawthorn range from 30 apartments per building, like The Kent, under construction at 382 Burwood Road, to the Sierra Hawthorn complex with a plan for 250 apartments to be constructed at 200 Burwood Road.

In the Victorian Government’s strategic Plan Melbourne 2030, Glenferrie Hawthorn was identified as a major activity centre featuring strong links to public transport. Therefore, a good prospect for high-density dwellings.

Some new apartment buildings and other developments are built with minimal, and sometimes without any, car parking spaces available. While this design is understandable for inner city areas, many apartment dwellers still own a car and choose to drive. According to the 2016 census, 45.5% of occupied dwellings in Hawthorn own a motor vehicle and 34.6% own more than one, this is compared to 34.2% of Victorian dwellings who own at least one car. With a lack of secure parking inside apartment buildings, residents and their visitors are forced to park off-site, increasing competition for parking in areas where many traders and customers already struggle to find a space.

Where does this leave new and emerging Hawthorn residents who own a car? This could create a push for more people to give up their vehicle and participate in ride share programs like Uber, Ola or Taxify, or car share programs such as Go Get, Flexicar or Car Next Door (all available in Glenferrie Hawthorn) or ride a bicycle or vespa which take up little room when parked or potentially encourage use of the transportation system of trams and trains here in Hawthorn. Although alternatives to owning a personal vehicle are out there, it does not change the demand for parking at the moment and no doubt this demand will grow as we gain more residents in the area.

(Above photo: 2014, Araliya cafe, wine var and restaurant on the corner of Luton Lane and Glenferrie Road. Source: Google Maps.)

(Above Photo: 2018, Hawthorn Club Apartments, 48 dwellings under construction at the corner of Luton Lane and Glenferrie Road.)

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