Revitalising the ‘Feddy’

By Jamie Lowe

Work to revitalise Deniliquin’s iconic Federal Hotel building is underway.

This is welcome news after the fate of the ‘Feddy’, as it’s affectionately known, had been looking dire since it was vacated in 2009.

New owner Mike Costin, a Melbourne-based investor who purchased the Feddy in September, said he was looking forward to bringing the building back to life.

Mr Costin will be looking to do this at a low cost, stating he plans to spend no more than $500,000 on the project.

‘‘The first stage is to clean it up and get rid of the vermin, pigeons and pests,’’ he said.

‘‘I will be coming to Deni later this week to investigate what is needed. We have to to establish what work needs to be carried out and get a better understanding of the structural layout and find the most cost effective way to get the building back to standard.

‘‘I am aware that all floors on the bottom level of the building will need to be fixed due to them being flooded and we do intend to restore the doorways and windows to their former glory.

‘‘We have also appointed a painter to paint the facade. This will start in February and will take about four weeks to complete.’’

Mr Costin said the focus of the Feddy is to make the bottom floor of the building operational before working on the top floor.

His plans are to turn it into a hot spot for locals and tourists for fine dining and top range drink options.

Despite only being in its early stages, Mr Costin has been proactively looking for an operator who shares his vision.

‘‘My belief is that there’s enough suppliers for pubs in town so we need to find a point of differentiation,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re looking at creating a higher end option, with better quality food and beverage, so we will be prepare the building to operate with that vision.

‘‘We have a strong preferences on finding an operator who shares our view.

‘‘The venues that I like in town are like the Crossing Cafe. The amount of people who go there on a weekend shows the demand for places like that is clearly there.

‘‘Tourists are also often looking for something different from an Aussie pub with a counter meal.

‘‘The location is perfect for visitors and locals to sit around, enjoy some food and drinks with a lovely view of Waring Gardens.

‘‘I also want to attract more tourists into the town centre so other businesses down Napier St can be benefit from more foot traffic.

‘‘At the moment on weekends, particularly in the afternoon, this area is a bit dead with not a lot open.’’

Despite having his own plans Mr Costin stated he is happy to take recommendations for what the building can be used for.

‘‘I’d like to hear from the local community and what they think is a viable option,’’ he said.

‘‘If anyone has any ideas then they should contact Hamish (Thomson) at Elders Real Estate so he can pass this on to me.

‘‘A lot of credit for the progression of the Federal Hotel building has to go to Hamish.

‘‘He has worked extremely hard to get things moving with this beautiful building.’’