The latest chapter in this saga sets some disturbing precendents.
Look at the sales history of the site. The mess began as a fallout from the State Bank fiasco.
The first real sale was by half owner Mr Norris Blanks to his co-owner. The price for that sale was set by the potential of the site under the currnet Development Act, ie three stories.
All sales of the property or parts have been on the basis of three stories max, including the recent Oberdan to Makris sale.
Makris, whose greed is legendary even among Greek landlords, decided to go for a rezone to multiply ihs profit.
Now he has that rezoning.
In my humble opinion, before such a windfall profit is delivered to an owner following rezoning on the baiss that the owner claims he cannot make a profit under present zoning, the council involved should require a neutral expert party to assess whether or not the owner is correct in saying that the site cannot be profitably developed under presnt zoning.
I know the Le Cornu site intimately, and have been involved in several development scenarios for it.
I can say with conviction that at the price Makris paid for the whole parcel of land which has now been rezoned, that he COULSD make a profit with a mixed residential/retail/office develpment tjhat conforms to the current development plan.
I challenge anyone to show that this is not true, using any reputable current guide to constrcution costs and any standard feasibility calculation.
Makris got what he wanted for not much effort (OK, he paid the government about $180,000, but he'll get that back).
But what a precedent. You want more bang for your buck out of a piece fo land you've just bought? Easy - pop some money in the mail and apply for rezoning.
The worst outcome is if Makris , now that he has the extra value on the site, just remortgages it and uses the cash elsewhere. After all, Makris has just created an extra $10,000,000 value or so out of thin air. It's been given to him, really, by a grateful state goivernment. Not a bad return on $180,000! Now Makris might as well use the extra value constructively. And that doens't mean to build anything except a bank account.
Makris might decide, given that he can't let the shops over the road in his North Adelaide Village centre, to put the whole Le Cornu site on the market - 'with approval for commercial/residential development to six stories...'.
Wonderful. And the wheels of commerce grind on.
Why can't we all do this - buy a property, have it rezoned, and make whoopee with the extra cash.
Well the simple answer is that to get your property rezoned in your own interest, you have to a be a big deal. A very big deal. And if you ask Con Makris and his good friends Foley, Rann and Conlon, they will be more than somewhat pleased to tell you that Makris is a very big deal indeed.