WATCH: Flour mill building on the market in Maryborough
PADDY Stephensen can remember playing "as a little fella" around the Maryborough flour mill in about 1946.
He probably never thought he would end up owning the iconic, imposing building and the surrounding land on which it stands.
The former mill site, which encompasses 7000sq m and five blocks from 556-560 Kent St, is on the market.
Mr Stephensen and his wife Coral have owned the site, which includes a cottage residence, since about 1990, and bought it to run a second-hand and building supplies business which closed in about 2009.
The flour mill closed in the mid 1970s, after which the mill was taken over by Fairlie and Sons and converted for use as a sawmill.
The sawmill later closed and that's when the Stephensens took it on.
But with Mr Stephensen turning 79 at the end of this year and Mrs Stephensen "not too far behind", the couple has decided the massive block is too much responsibility.
"We just want a bit of peace and quiet, you could call it," he said.
"It's a wonderful site. Where else can you get a 7000sq m site?"
The born-and-bred Maryborough boy will "definitely" stay in town.
He has memories of playing with his brother and their friends around the mill when it was a bustling workplace and big industry in town.
"We used to be pretty over-awed by the size of the place, especially as little fellas," he said.
"She used to be a hive of activity, and it was, right through to 1974."
While the youngsters could occasionally catch a glimpse of what went on inside, they were strictly not allowed near the milling itself.
"We had a place where we were, let's say, tolerated," he said. "But we never went near the milling operation."
Justen Tillman of VIP Realty is marketing the site, which is open to offers over $550,000 for the entire five-block site.
"It is being marketed as a prime redevelopment site," Mr Tillman said.
"It is zoned heavy industry but is right next door to residential so shouldn't be too hard to get a material change of use."
With Chelsea retirement home directly behind, the site presents an opportunity for more retirement or aged care living.
Mr Stephensen says it could also become a historical hub if done correctly.
"There was a letter in the Chronicle only the other week (from Merv Woods, FCC 12-06-17) talking about the need for building museums to house all Maryborough's heritage," he said.
"What he (Mr Woods) suggested is everything this place could be turned into."
For more information phone VIP Realty on 4121 9222.