Adelaide site to receive multimillion dollar overhaul

first_imgAustralia’s richest Greek Con Makris has unveiled plans to redevelop his site at O’Connell St, North Adelaide following previous failed attempts. Makris’ company, the Makris Group, will wholly fund the $200 million project, which will include a high market hotel, luxury apartments, a shopping complex, the first Australian built Whole Foods Market (an America grocery chain), as well as cafes and restaurants. Makris told Neos Kosmos he expects construction to begin by the second half of 2015, in an area he likens to Kolonaki and Syntagma in Athens.“(South Australia premier) Jay Weatherill gave his blessing, the mayor of Adelaide gave his blessing, the shopkeepers association has given its blessing, every department here in South Australia is supporting it because Adelaide needs something like this. North Adelaide is the Kolonaki of Adelaide, it’s where all the rich people live and it’s less than one kilometre from the centre of the CBD, across King William Road. The same way Syntagma is in Greece, where you travel down Kolonaki, it’s similar to that.”The site, which historically housed furniture store Le Cornu until 1989, has been an empty lot since. Makris purchased it in 2001, with plans to develop it in 2008 shelved due to the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC). “We had approval back in 2008 which was different to this. Back then we couldn’t build more than five storeys, we had approval for only five, and I mean it was a blessing that we didn’t build because now we have about 16 floors.”“It would have been stupid for us to build if we couldn’t sell apartments (because of the GFC) so we didn’t go ahead with it and we waited for an opportunity. Now under the new rules of the state government here, we can build at any height provided we satisfy the government, and we have done that.”He estimates construction will create 700 jobs, with a further 700 for the service and maintenance of the complex, which he hopes will add to his legacy in his native state.“It’s my dream! I want to leave a legacy in South Australia. I have so many properties around all of Australia and I want to leave something here, because I came here as a 16-year-old and I became the most successful businessman.”“It will change North Adelaide … O’Connell Street used to be the number one street in South Australia, but in the past 10 years it has spiralled downward. By doing this, the mayor came out and said the council will fix everything, the pavers for the streets, more trees, and he urged people with other properties in the area to redevelop.”With final approvals set to be formalised, Makris is confident there won’t be any issues involved with its development, including through the public consultation period. “Well, they had it in the newspaper and 85 per cent of people are supporting it. I mean when you see the premier on television supporting it and the mayor supporting it, who’s left?”The project coincides with the company’s $50 million extension of Gilles Plains Shopping Centre in Adelaide’s north-east. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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