THE developers of a $2.5 million plan to turn one of the CBD's most impressive sites into a commercial and residential complex are aiming to restore as much of the original historic building as they can.
The Bendigo Weekly online revealed on Friday plans to build a 15 apartments in the former Webb and Co mill building on the corner of Williamson and Queen streets.
The plan involves keeping the ground floor commercial tenancies and turning the rest of the ground floor into two more commercial spaces.
Owner Adrian Tenuta in his application said the apartments would have impressive city views.
"The first, second and third floor levels of the building will provide for elegant inner city one and two bedroom apartments that will showcase the internal features of the building," he said.
"The internal spaces of the apartments will endeavour to showcase the original features of the building that have been either covered up or panted over.
"The external appearance of the building will not significantly be altered, except for the new shop front and entry point on ground level.
"The only external works on the upper levels that will be visible form the road frontage will be tee repair of the existing windows."
City of Greater Bendigo heritage advisor Mandy Jean praised the plan.
"The proposal will ensure the restoration and rehabilitation of this building," she said.
"The proposal is a major rehabilitation and restoration project that takes advantages of the special characteristics of the mill building ad spectacular city views.
"The objective is to maintain the building's overall historical significance and fabric in their setting, while adapting the structures to incorporate new uses, including apartments.
"This will include reinstating all the windows, retaining the upper vaulted ceiling, exposing stone and brick walls, uncovering covered structural timber columns and beams and removing false partitions and ceilings.
"There will be the introduction of a new level behind the existing parapet roof."
The WIlliam Webb and Co building was built in 1878.
William Webb was a partner in the flour mill in Hargreaves Street.
In 1877 he decided to erect the four-storey mill and granary.
At one stage it produced 2500 sacks per week.
Webb died in 1909 ad production stopped in 1923.
The building was refitted in 1923 to manufacture sewing machines for company So Easy.
The first So Easy sewing machine was christened by Acting Prime Minister Earle Page on October 10, 1923.