TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF AT HAWTHORN

by Lorna Edwards / Domain
 April 18, 2015

A large maple tree changing with the seasons three levels above a prominent Hawthorn intersection is set to add more leaves to the leafy streets of Hawthorn.

The Japanese maple tree will form the namesake of a new six-level development of 51 contemporary apartments, a joint venture between developers ANGLE, Buxton Group and ICD Property designed by Stokes Architects.

Perched in the bustling Burwood Road shopping centre on a prominent intersection site that has had past lives as the Babushka restaurant and Capers cabaret venue, the development at 121 Power Street is directly opposite an IGA supermarket with trams on its doorstep and Hawthorn rail station only 250 metres away.

"We really wanted to do something quite different architecturally and popping a tree on the level three corner on a high-profile intersection we thought would capture a few people's attention and ties in quite nicely with Hawthorn being well-known as a leafy green suburb," says ANGLE director Lachie Gibson.

Another feature of the dynamic facade will be the bronze aluminium vertical louvres on sliding panels on the balconies of the lower levels which will allow residents to control the light and privacy of their apartments.

While the flurry of new apartments in Hawthorn in recent years has often catered to affluent downsizers, Maple was designed to appeal to the young, hip crowd and offers bathtubs as an upgrade for young families, a growing sector of the apartment-dwelling market.

The project appears to have hit its mark with just over half of the apartments selling before its launch.

One-bedroom apartments range in size from 51 to 54 square metres internally with balconies of seven to 20 square metres and prices from $420,000 to $505,000. Nineteen of the 24 one-bedroom residences feature an adaptable "flexi-room", which gives added space to couples as a place to store the sports gear, create extra wardrobe room or even a nursery.

The 24 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments are sized from 60 to 75 square metres with seven to 22 square metres of balcony space selling from $550,000 to $675,000.

Three three-bedroom apartments with prices of $1.05 million to $1.15 million have 93 square metres of internal space and balconies adding another 47 to 69 square metres.

All but three apartments have a carpark (on a stacker system), all have storage cages and there are 26 bicycle spaces.

Interior designers Studio You Me were commissioned to come up with custom joinery for the project and produced "floating" furniture pieces including island benches with round timber legs as an upgrade option. Kitchens will have Smeg appliances.

The balconies on the higher levels feature in-built benches facing the city skyline view as you might find in a bar or restaurant.

CBRE is marketing the project, phone 1300 888 770. A display suite at 121 Power Street, Hawthorn, is open Thurs-Sun noon-3pm.‚Äč

Just 100 metres from the new Maple apartment development at Hawthorn sits Gibson's Wine Bar, a cosy watering hole where locals call in to sip boutique Australian drops while nibbling on pate and cheeses.

Owner Alan Gibson says Hawthorn's west has a village atmosphere with a reasonably affluent local population always busily renovating their abodes in the decade he has lived and worked there.

"There's been a lot of development and probably a generational change with older people downsizing and younger people moving in and spending a lot of money renovating places," he says.

Hawthorn now has a mixed demographic of older residents and the younger families who were drawn by the close proximity to the city and the plethora of public and private schools ringing the suburb.

"It's a lovely place to live that's very leafy with plenty of gardens and parks around," he says.