Do you have a spare $1.5m to save mill from demolition?

A MARYBOROUGH man is desperately seeking financial backing to save the historic Bowerbird House from being demolished and replaced with 80 residential units.

Ron Stephenson wants to buy the old Dominion Flour Mill on Kent St and turn it into a music hall of fame - before Good Life Properties submits a development application to the council.

But having sold his house and spent his life savings trying to get the concept off the ground in 2009, the ex-muso is ambitiously hoping someone in the community may consider putting up the $1.5 million for the property.

"If the building is to be demolished for units, the Wide Bay area will be the loser," Mr Stephenson said on Wednesday.

"This property could be used as a hall of fame.

It would make a wonderful entertainment and exhibition area."

The owner of Bowerbird House, Paddy Stephensen, confirmed he had been in discussions with Brisbane-based development managers Good Life Properties about turning the property into 86 independent living units.

It is listed under the company's portfolio of current developments on its website, and is in the process of project concept design, project feasibility, sourcing funds and demolition approval.

"If the finance comes through, (the developer) will buy this place tomorrow," he said.

Paddy said he would love to see the hall of fame come to fruition, but it was a "big ask".

"If Ron could get the money, I'd say there's a possibility he could make it happen," he said.

Ron said he had gathered more than 500 signatures in support of the idea in the past five years, which he believed could be one of the Fraser Coast's biggest musical attractions.

He said the main area had been checked and approved as an ideal space to hold concerts and there was the possibility for a recording studio.

"There are plenty of volunteers that would be able to run the place," he said.

"I just want to alert the community to the idea and see if there's anyone out there who might shell out the money."

Bowerbird House

  • Built in 1892 and, within a few months, was crushing 42,000 pounds of wheat an hour
  • Ceased operation as a wheat mill in 1977 and reopened as a sawmill
  • Bought by Paddy and Coral Stephensen in the 1990s and turned into a second-hand dealership.
  • Put up for sale in 2009


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