Kostas Makris: The Greek Who Became Australia’s Real Estate King

The story of Kostas Makris is the story of every Greek with entrepreneurial spirit who moved to another country and managed to prosper by taking advantage of the opportunities offered in the absence of crippling bureaucracy.

The Greek-Australian can be considered the King of Gold Coast in Australia, after having bought the most expensive properties in the famous tourist destination.

Makris is the 46th the wealthiest resident of Australia and the richest Greek in the country. He is also among the 20 richest Greeks in the world.

The Greek real estate magnate was born in Lygourio of Epidavros and later his family moved to Athens. He migrated to Australia at the age of 16 and it wasn’t long before his business acumen led him to the top.

It wasn’t easy at first as he started working in a steel factory seven days a week. At the age of 20 he opened his first fish and chips shop and six months later he used his profits to open a grocery store and a fruits and vegetables store on the same street. It was then that the idea of opening a department store became his goal.

Then Makris bought a cafeteria and a restaurant with chicken-based meals, putting emphasis on good quality food and good prices. He soon created a successful chain of restaurants.

In 1980 Makris decided it was time to move to the real estate business. So he sold the restaurant chain and bought his first shopping center in Adelaide. The success of his new venture came very quickly. He expanded his portfolio realizing that returns from retail properties were higher than returns on other forms of real estate.

His next step was the commercial exploitation of the most renowned Australian tourist area, the Gold Coast. The Greek-Australian businessman bought the Marina Mirage shopping mall in the Gold Coast. The mall houses many luxury stores specializing in top brands. Then he invested in buying the marina in front of the shopping mall, where luxury yachts owned by wealthy visitors dock.

The Makris Group next purchased another shopping mall in the Gold Coast, the Oracle, which along with the grand hotel towering above it makes for a real estate treasure. The Oracle has 60 stores, three towers, and nearly 300 parking spaces.

In 2017, the company established headquarters in Brisbane in line with its strategy of geographical diversification with a focus on lifestyle destination properties.

Today, the Makris Group has expanded from South Australia to Victoria and Queensland, making the restless Greek entrepreneur the king of real estate in Australia.