CAMPERDOWN’S historic Leura Hotel has the potential to be transformed into a restaurant, retail outlet or be revived as a pub, according to its owner-developer.
One of the town’s three historic hotels, the Leura has been vacant for more than three years after its previous lessees were evicted following a tribunal order and the site was subsequently put on the market. Its original price tag was close to $1.4 million.
While there have been several inquiries since the hotel was first listed for sale following an extensive renovation, China-based developer Dean Montgomery said he was looking at making the site available for rent.
Mr Montgomery, who purchased Warrnambool’s Fletcher Jones factory last month, said it was disappointing the hotel had remained vacant for so long.
“There’s plenty of uses for the Leura Hotel, it’s not just confined to being a pub again,” he said.
“It could be transformed into a restaurant, or a row of shops, or the upstairs space could be used for offices or back to its original purpose as an accommodation provider.
“We were intent on selling the hotel, but now we’re looking at lease or rental options given it’s been on the market for some time.”
An extensive renovation of the Edwardian-era building took place in 2011 after the pub’s lessees were evicted. The site was gutted and stripped of most of its fittings, including light bulbs and floor coverings.
Mr Montgomery said the refurbishment was temporarily thwarted when vandals used a diamond-cutter knife to score nearly every window in the building.
“All the windows were slashed, it was pretty frustrating,” he said. “The hotel is looking great now.
“When we took over, it was looking very tired and dated inside.
“The bar is still intact, so it could be used as a hotel still if someone wanted to use it for its original purpose.”
Along with the Commercial and Hampden, Leura Hotel is one of the town’s oldest hotels, built in 1902 on the site of Camperdown’s first public house which was established in the 1850s.
The site covers more than 2400 square metres and has two retail frontages.