Fortuna Villa expected to sell

ONE of the agents handling the sale of Fortuna Villa is confident the historic home will sell. 

Conjunctional agent Michael Hede of Knight Frank said interest in the property had been reasonably strong. 

“I haven’t got a crystal ball, but we haven’t been doing this for practice,” he said. “I’m fairly confident it will be sold. It’s just a very appealing property... it’s probably better than most people describe.”

Mr Hede said the original owner had created an “absolutely fabulous building”, which made it easier to sell. 

He would not say how many people had viewed the property or how many tenders he expected would be lodged. 

“Interest has been reasonably strong, and that’s all I can say about that,” he said. “I’m not at liberty to comment on any of those facts.”

Conjunctional agent Tweed Sutherland First National told the Bendigo Advertiser it had strict instructions not to comment on the sale process.

Fortuna is one of Bendigo’s most historic properties. 

Construction of the three-storey mansion started in the 1850s on a gold mine site. It includes a ballroom, conservatory, billiard room and a lake, fountain, coach house and stables on the 7.5-hectare site. 

The Friends of Fortuna, the Villa Fortuna Action Group and the Bendigo Historical Society opposed the sale, with concerns the government site would end up in private hands. 

The building is owned by the Department of Defence, which will not comment on the sale, and tenders must be assessed by an appointed panel.

Fortuna is described in an information memorandum as “an amazing representation of the wealth generated during the gold rush in Victoria” and had previously been estimated to be worth $3 million.

Tenders for the 60-room Chum Street mansion close at noon on Friday.

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