PAUL Banks took ownership of Bendigo's historic Fortuna Villa on Thursday.
The advertising and marketing company owner and property investor said the first step after signing off on the lavish mansion was to get it rezoned.
“We’re not really going to be changing much,” Mr Banks said.
“We want to clear a lot of the outbuildings and get a coat of paint on the villa.
“We’ve already looked into a lot of that.
“Once we get a lick of paint on it we can get it opened up for functions, put a couple of bathrooms in it here and there and open it up for boutique style accommodation.”
Mr Banks said a property manager would move into the site today and live there full time.
He wanted to run tours and said some rooms and buildings would be rented out, with a Heritage Victoria overlay to be placed over the site today.
“It’s not like we’re got to rebuild it,” he said.
“And you know what, we can’t go around knocking walls down and redesigning it anyway. That will make the battle even easier in my eyes.
“When we meet council in July I’ll be looking to start doing something.
“A lot of the bureaucracy will go from 2pm because it will no longer be in government ownership.
“It will all be done by one bloke.” Mr Banks said he wasn’t sure how long it might take before the site opened to the public.
He said the council had been agreeable with his plans and said everything was “very much all on track”.
“They’re working with us and we’re working with them,” Mr Banks said.
Mr Banks bought the property from the Department of Defence for $2.21 million in May after the previous sale fell through.