THE new owner of the former Fletcher Jones factory will be in town next week looking for groups who are interested in breathing new life into the dilapidated buildings.
Dean Montgomery bought the former factory last month and will visit on Monday and Tuesday.
He told The Standard he would advertise for expressions of interest from groups looking for space in the coming weeks, but was more than happy to speak with people face-to-face while he was in town. He said he had been approached over the past couple of weeks about bringing in bulldozers and setting up big box retail.
“That’s not the path I want to go down,” Mr Montgomery said.
“I’ve decided I want to refurbish what’s already there and retain the heritage.
“So I’m hoping to hear from anyone who may be interested in having parts of the factory developed for their specific use.
“We are working on a master plan at the moment and we would like to hear from companies, organisations, educational institutions or small businesses that need the space.”
Mr Montgomery said he was very keen to see the market that is already on the site stay.
He said other plans for refurbishing the site were progressing well and he had been in regular contact with Heritage Victoria.
Roofing was also a priority and he had made progress in getting leaks fixed.
“I want to start repainting and restoring all the garden furniture, so I’ve been in touch with them about that,” he said.
“We did hope to do some work on the silver ball this week but unfortunately we would have to close half the street and there was a small hold-up with traffic management.
“But the people with the crane are on stand-by and once they have that piece of paper they will be right to go.
“Hopefully that will happen in the next week.
“We are going to cut off a few old pipes that are barely hanging on and make it a bit safer.
“The next job will be to paint it, so I’m looking for a company that can take that on. It’s not your average job.”