ONE of Australia's biggest refurbishments of a historical complex is to be marketed in Hongkong. Investors will be given the chance to buy units at the huge Willsmere development in Melbourne. A former geriatric hospital, just outside the city's central business district (CBD), is being turned into luxury flats. New townhouses will also be added to the development. More than 200 units will go on sale in an exhibition at the Hilton Hotel from May 7 to 9. Mr Michael Bentley, general manager with real estate firm Ben Boyd First National, said the project was one of the most prestigious in Australia. ''It's going to be pretty exciting,'' he said. ''This is equivalent to having a brand new residential development in Mid-Levels.'' Property developers Central Equity plan to redevelop the 120-year-old historic building, on 10 hectares of gardens, into a residential estate of renovated flats and new terraced houses. The existing building is listed with the National Heritage but the interior will be completely renovated and converted to more than 100 one-to four-bedroom flats. A 25-metre swimming pool, tennis court, walking and jogging tracks and ample parking space will be included. The development is bounded by the Yarra Bend National Park and is in the same area which houses the sought after Q Boulevard. It is about a 12-minute drive to the CBD and the elevated site has good views of the city. Mr Dennis Wilson, Central Equity managing director, said: ''We've not marketed it in Australia yet but we have about 50 people waiting to sign up. ''It's a case of us rushing around to get the contracts drawn up. ''It is a popular development.'' Central Equity bought the estate from the troubled Jennings Group which planned to develop a hotel, banquet hall and conference centre on the site. Under the new plan, the existing buildings will be maintained and 15 per cent of the grounds will be lost to new housing. Hundreds of metres of lattice fringed walkways will be restored, as will brick walls, sandstone orbs, the slate roof and the original colour scheme. The whole project is due to be completed by the end of next year. The building started out as an asylum in 1872. It was named Willsmere and turned into a geriatric hospital during World War II. Mr Bentley said initial enquiries in Hongkong were already ''very positive''. Prices range from A$125,000 (HK$687,000) for a one-bedroom flat to around $250,000 for a three-bedroom unit. A few four-bedroom units will cost almost $500,000.