JUST over four years since he bought the sprawling Tremain's Mill in Keppel Street, Stephen Birrell is ready to officially unveil the first stage of its development.
And he's a happy man.
"It's just a relief to get to a point where people can start to enjoy what we've done," he said on Monday afternoon from his office on the site.
"There's still a lot of work to be done, but this is a big step forward."
Stage one - an Italian pizzeria and gellateria in the ground floor of the restored 1884 Victoria Stores building, a coffee shop, a hairdresser, a landscaped public area and a new amenities block - will be officially opened on Friday evening.
"We are letting people know the precinct is open for business," Mr Birrell said. "It has been a building site for three or four years.
"I know that when I saw the turf go down [in the mill's public space], it just changed the whole place. It just softened everything. We could see that we were getting close to the end."
Mr Birrell and Glenda Deans bought the 8522 square metre mill site in 2015 and added the next-door Victoria Hotel - which has since been refurbished and has reopened as The Victoria - in 2018.
Ciao pizzeria and gellateria opened in May, Doppio coffee shop opened a fortnight ago and the mill site's new hairdressing business opened just this week.
Mr Birrell said the next phase of the project will be the completion of four luxury, heritage short-stay apartments on the top floor of the Victoria Stores building - filling what he said was a gap in the accommodation market in Bathurst.
"There are only a few operators in town that can offer that sort of accommodation and we're fortunate that we will be one of them," he said.
Future plans for the Tremain's Mill precinct include the Australian Milling Museum, professional offices and workspaces, some luxury private apartments and a unique events space within the 1876 warehouse.
Mr Birrell said he felt locals were pleased to see the mill site was being developed sympathetically.
"They recognise that the Tremain Mill was a continuous employer for nearly 150 years and so they know that it was important to town and they are pleased to see that it is not going to disappear into apartments or villas," he said.
Friday's official opening of the mill's first stage will be held from 5-7pm.