PLANS to develop the run-down former Pleasant Creek Hospital site are in the pipeline.
Almost three hectares of land, located on the Western Highway, has been sold and the new owner intends to transform the site into a business and tourism hub.
Keenan Quinsee of Ballan saw the property about 18 months ago when he visited the nearby Mitre 10 store.
“I decided then that it would be a great place to purchase and develop,” he said. “The area has so much potential.”
Mr Quinsee said he wanted to launch ghost tours at the site – similar to those at Aradale – in time for the Halloween weekend in October.
Works to develop the site could start as early as this week.
“We will be starting work there on Monday and will be working on site for nine days,” he said.
“Based off figures from Aradale, I have forecast for about 5000 people a year to have the ghost tour at Pleasant Creek.”
Mr Quinsee said he intended to set up a Christmas in July festival next year, a weekend night market, live music events in the summer, a bean bag cinema, wine bar and cafe and a three-dimensional artistic mural.
“I am also thinking about partnering up with the Stawell Historical Society to run day time tours of the site,” he said.
“There is so much history here and it could be a good opportunity for families passing through the town to learn more about the area.
“People are coming into town on the Western Highway here, so it is really the gateway to Stawell.
“These plans could put Stawell on the map and potentially bring in more people to the town and have a big contribution to business and economy.”
Mr Quinsee said 14 rooms in the old hospital building at the Pleasant Creek site could also offer retail space for businesses.
“There is a lot of space here. There are rooms that can be used as offices or conference rooms,” he said.
“Individuals can trial out these rooms before signing onto a lease.”
Northern Grampians Shire Council said they would comment publicly on the proposals once plans were formally submitted.