Date of birth:1947, Ligourio, Greece
Type of Business: Real Estate
Main Achievements:Redevelopment of Bonnyrigg Plaza in Bonnyrigg, Constructing Northgate Village in Adeliade, Purchase of Marina Mirage Shopping Center, Purchase of Oracle Shopping Center in the Gold Coast.
Something interesting about the person:He was the first person to introduce the concept of a drive thru in the Province of Victoria.
Image is taken from Queensland Property Investor
Just two years after the end of World War II, Kostas Makris or better known as Con Makris was born in Ligourio, Greece. Though he is the wealthiest person in South Australia, his beginnings were modest. His was a family that decided to migrate from Ligourio to Athens in search of better opportunities. Con started working at the tender age of 10, helping his parents pay for the living expenses his family incurred while his father Spiyos was the caretaker of a building as well as a waiter at a restaurant.
Kostas left school at the age of 12 and started working fulltime for a sewist. It was during this time that he began to develop a knack for business. His job consisted of going to the biggest cloth shops in Athens in 1959, where he would purchase yards of fabric. He started getting paid 20% to 25% for buying cloth from certain stores. However, despite his efforts, it was challenging to find a job in Greece at the time because of the high inflation, high unemployment as well as civil unrest, he decided to venture to Australia. After a 30 day journey through the boat, he finally arrived in Melbourne in 1963. He was alone and could not speak English, but he had big dreams and big aspirations. He went to Adelaide and started working at a foundry from 6:30 am to 10:00 in the night seven days a week. It was a job that nobody wanted to do, but it was a job, nonetheless.
He saved up all the money he earned from this job and opened up Feather’s Fish shop in 1967, where he started selling Fish and Chips. Once again, Con worked almost 18 hours 7 days a week until six months later he bought two more shops in the same street as his fish shop. Though he was economically stable at this point, Makris decided to sell his businesses to go to the Southeast. There he opened a shop selling barbequed chicken. He was the first person to introduce drive-through service in the state of Victoria, according to a video by the Makrisyoutube channel. At this point that Con decided to change his strategy. He started buying properties to set his chicken restaurants and started selling the businesses while keeping the property. This way, he could earn the rent for the building. Eventually, he decided to sell his chicken shop’s in the ’80s to buy his first shopping mall in Newton. Though other people did not think this was the best move as the shopping mall was not very appealing. Makris saw the potential in it, and his business acumen proved to be correct.
He continued growing his business by purchasing more and more malls in South Australia and Queensland. Interestingly his company is still privately owned and not listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The reason behind this is that Makris believes that the stock market is too volatile. According to the Sydney Morning HeraldMakris believes that “nobody loses on land,” and so, he refuses to open up his company to the stock exchange. The Makris Group expanded to include an architectural firm as well during the mid-2000’s. He also oversaw development projects such as the Bonnyingg Plaza in New South Wales. According to the Australian Finaincal Review, as of 2016, Makris would be “stepping back from the day-to-day running of his property empire valued at $1.17 billion” and relocating to the head office of his business to Queensland where he believes there will be exponential growth soon.