The Daily Telegraph has offered us with a quick overview as to the lives of some of the most influential property barons who own Hobart. Apart from their high net worth, they have one other commonality. They all started out most nearly nothing. They all worked their way to get wherever they are today. Their passion, ambition, and persistence are only a few of the traits that helped them succeed and amass their fortune. All of them have invested wisely in the property market. They bought and held on until their investments appreciated over time.
The Behrakis Family
So let’s start off with the Behrakis family. This name is extremely popular especially in Salamanca, the gold standard of commercial real estate in Hobart. The Behrakis family’s history in this area started 30 years ago when they put up a grocer’s market, which evolved into ever-popular Salamanca Fresh brand with outlets in different parts of Southern Tasmania. The Behrakis family came from Kalamata, Greece. They migrated to Australia with nearly no money in their pockets.
They managed to build their wealth by purchasing prime real estate include the Maldini, Jack Greene and Cargo buildings. They also managed to build their own company called Olympus. Through this firm, they purchased 25 Salamanca Place and Knopwoods, which is now known as the Whaler Hotel for $304,000 in 1984. The family has a lot of plans for these buildings this year and that includes turning their top levels into serviced apartments. They also have properties in Moonah, Bellerive, North Hobart, Battery Point, and Sandy Bay.
Emmanuel Kalis is not as renowned as the Behrakis Family in Salamanca. However, he managed to establish a great footprint in Hobart and beyond. He owns nearly 50 properties including the Myer building in Liverpool St, which he bought for $16 million in 2009. Kalis came from the small Greek island of Astypalea and arrived in Tasmania 40 years ago. He owns a property empire including various hotels and motels. Among these are Cooley’s in Moonah, the Beltana in Lindisfarne, North Hobart’s Black Buffalo, the Kings Meadows Hotel, Beachfront at Bicheno and the Mornington Inn Hotel Motel.
He also owns a lot of shopping centers including Cove Hill and Kingston Gateway. He also picked up a few commercial properties in Margate and in Magnet Court in Sandy Bay. Records also showed that he is the owner of retail spaces at 132-146 Elizabeth St. and is also the co-owner of Tandara Motor Inn at Triabunna.
Just like the Behrakis family, George Giameos was born in Greece and came to Australia as an average person. Now, he is the proud owner of several properties in the Hobart CBD. He is the co-owner of the company First Floor Holdings and also picked up the 80, 84, 86 and 139 Liverpool St. He purchased several other properties in Elizabeth Mall and Murray St.He also has holdings in Salamanca like the Banjo’s Bakery and part of the Salamanca Wharf Hotel on Castray Esplanade. Together with his son Stefan, George Giameos placed one of its properties in the market, the Risdon Rd property for more than $2.5 million. They bought it for $1.86 million in 2010.
Ali Sultan is among the prominent real estate barons in Hobart. He left Lebanon and relocated to Tasmania in 1972. He started with a takeaway shop in Claremont before he made visible footprints in Hobart. He made his presence known with the development of the $3.5 million Savoy Hotel in 2001, which he managed to sell for $5 million three years ago. Sultan’s portfolio now includes car parks including those at Market Place, Bathurst St and Montpelier Retreat and other properties like the Commonwealth Bank building on Elizabeth St, the Mantra Hotel on Collins St and the Wellington Centre on Argyle St. He also has residential properties in Sandy Bay and South, North and West Hobart.
Robert Rockefeller is among the few property magnates in Tasmanian history. He was born in America before he moved to Hobart where he picked up properties like 2 Salamanca Square. It is where the Mercury is located. Rockefeller bought it for a price of $2.4 million in 2004. He also owns he Trafalgar Centre in Collins St and the old ANZ Centre, an 11-storey high-rise on Elizabeth St. through the company, Nekon. He is also the co-owner of 1 Franklin Wharf which he acquired for $17.5 million in 2013 through the company Newtown Rockets.
The other property barons who play important roles in Hobart are businesswoman Jan Cameron and Fragrance Group.