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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 February 2016
BUSINESS 24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM City of Melbourne allocates $250m for QVM upgrade The old Greek meeting place will be refurbished under a 10-year plan and hopes for World Heritage status The Queen Victoria Market is expected to see an overhaul thanks to a $250 million investment from the City of Melbourne. The revamp could very well be one of Melbourne's greatest economic drivers over the next decade, with trading hours expected to stretch to seven days a week, including evenings. The largest investment in the council's history, according to Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, it is expected to boost the market's annual turnover by $599 million. "This is about creating one of the great economic drivers of our city," Doyle told reporters at the launch of a draft master plan. Owner of Garden Organic at the QVM, Karen Birthisel, believes that extended trading hours will be a blessing for the market in accommodating working families. "It would be nice to update the facilities and get people coming back into the city for their shopping," she said in an interview with Sourceable. Though many agree, others, like fishmonger George Milonas, are slightly concerned about whether the new model is keeping in mind the QVM's true clientèle base. "If they want to turn the fish section into a Sydneystyle fish market, that's fantastic for tourists. "But let's face it, the Melbourne market is all about locals, and the tourists follow," Mr Milonas told the Herald Sun, while Nut Trek co-owner Diana Mikvlik is worried that "too much change too soon will alienate the clientele we have now". The market's acting chief executive officer, Victor Ailakis, says management is very understanding of traders' varied views about the market's future. "They, the market and the council are all committed to a strong, vibrant and attractive market, now and into the future," he said. "We will take on board these comments and add them to the feedback we are getting through our continuing and extensive program of trader engagement." Set to be a long-term proPHOTO: FIVEOFTHEBEST.COM ject to be completed over 10 to 12 years, the site will boast upgraded facilities including new event spaces, open areas and car parks, seeing the creation of 9,000 jobs in the construction phase alone, with an additional 9,000 as the market grows. Plans for an upgrade have coincided with a push to attain UNESCO World Heritage status for the site. "When people think of the World Heritage listing they often think of the architectural features of whatever it is … but it's more than that," Cr Doyle said. "It's about its social context and its contribution to the social development of the city, and when you start to think of QVM like that suddenly it makes sense." A recent study conveyed the CBD site as far more than a marketplace, having played a key role in Melbourne's Con Makris: A Greek among the 50 richest people in Australia Property development and investment proved lucrative in 2015 for some Australian real estate magnates. Although the falling Aussie dollar reduced some worths in US dollar terms, it helped in other ways, attracting offshore buyers to quality shopping malls, office buildings and residential developments. A Greek businessman from Ligourio, Epidaurus is included in Australia's 50 Richest People list for 2016, compiled by Forbes. His name is Con Makris and he ranks 38th, with his for- tune reaching US$700 million; in 2015 he ranked 46th with US$640 million fortune. "Con Makris' offshore enthusiasm for Australian shopping malls has boosted his fortune, particularly assets picked up cheaply on the glitzy Gold Coast in 2014," the prestigious magazine mentions, adding that "he built the Makris Group real estate empire after emigrating to Australia from Greece" and now "owns nine malls and two office towers and also has approval to develop a five-star hotel in Adelaide". foundation story, especially where the Greek Australia community is concerned. The site, which started trading in 1878, was a central meeting point for many migrants during the 1950s. Market stalls started to stock Greek-made products and it was there that some of Melbourne's first Greekrun cafes sprung up. Even those who eventually moved out of the inner-city to distant suburbs such as Oakleigh, Doncaster and Kew would make the trek into the city every Saturday morning to do their shopping and catch up with friends over a coffee. Also among the key claims for heritage status is the site's history for the city's first cemetery, where the first bodies were buried the year after John Batman made his famous 1835 declaration: "This will be the place for a village." Nick Politis warns of move to ANZ Stadium Con Makris Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has heaped more pressure on the state government by warning his club could make a permanent move to ANZ Stadium - or in a worst-case scenario, be destroyed - if it were forced to move out of Allianz Stadium under an $800 million plan to rebuild the ground. Politis, one of the most influential powerbrokers in the sport, spoke of his fears that the Roosters would be irreparably damaged as Manly chief executive Joe Kelly reiterated that his club was focused solely on its future at Brookvale Oval and had given no thought to moving matches Nick Politis to a rebuilt Allianz Stadium. The Roosters, and to a lesser extent Manly, have been included in talks with the ARL Commission over the game's stadium strategy, the outcome of which will play a significant role in determining how the government will spend the $1.6 billion it has earmarked for venues in Sydney.
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