Click or flick across the above image to take a tour of the historic campus.
BEECHWORTH’S historic Mayday Hills site has been sold by La Trobe University to Border developers for $1.5 million.
Wooragee’s Geoff and Tess Lucas and Beechworth’s George and Sue Fendyk were yesterday announced as the new owners of the 106.5-hectare site after a drawn-out sale process.
Mr Lucas, a manufacturer of portable saw mills, said they had no set plan to rejuvenate the former Mayday Hills asylum.
Instead they would ask the community for “great ideas” for its future at a meeting at The Pines at the old La Trobe campus at 7pm on Wednesday, March 20.
The couples will seek other investors to help develop the site with Mr Lucas suggesting a hotel as a possibility.
Major tenants The Spa at Beechworth and a Montessori school will be unaffected at this stage.
Mr Lucas said he was “happy to have all those tenants remain”.
“We wish them very good fortune and hope they stay,” he said.
The sale is subject to planning approvals. Land will have to be re-zoned for private use.
The site was put on the market in 2011.
La Trobe University pro-vice chancellor, Hal Swerissen, said the sale couldn’t have happened any quicker because of extensive regulatory requirements.
Professor Swerissen said he was satisfied with the $1.5 million sale price — the site’s valuation.
“It’s got that 100-year-old building, heritage grounds, but to do anything to the buildings will be very expensive,” he said.
Mr Lucas yesterday agreed that he and his business partners were taking on a “serious project”, but he vowed “we’ll have a good go at it”.
La Trobe has copped criticism from the Friends of Mayday Hills for letting the gardens waste away.
Secretary, Harvey Anderssen, yesterday said the group hoped to work with the new developers to better look after the property.