Ginos Engineers are property developers in Adelaide with a growing reputation for being reasonable. While they may not lower the cost of leasing one of they’re unoccupied properties, they’re business is thriving because they are open to new ideas.
George Ginos is the property manager for Leigh Street in Adelaide’s West End. At the time of writing, Leigh Street is a-buzz with rave reviews for a newly opened Basque-inspired pinxtos and wine bar. The owners are young and ambitious and together they’ve created a completely new business for the city, Udaberri.
“I got a call from one of the boys behind Udaberri, Josh at Coffee Branch had given them my number.” Says George. “They told us what they wanted to do and we liked the idea. So we decided to help them out.” This help came in the form of an initial rent-free setup period and a continual open ear, and mind, to what the owners believed their bar needed in order to ditch the premise’s former identity as a travel agent.
“I think these things just need to start happening,” says George when quizzed on his role in creating Udaberri. Our conversation has taken us from the heritage-era Leigh Street to now, standing among the rubble of Ginos Engineers most recent acquisition. It’s a monster of a building swallowing nearly half of the street, one street east of Leigh in the center of Adelaide.
It’s a significant investment but one George feels entirely comfortable with. “It makes it a bit easier because, owning Leigh Street, we manage it as it’s one property not 10 individual properties,” says George.
Ginos Engineers employ a full-time maintenance man on Leigh Street who ensures unsightly graffiti is quickly removed and any small quibbles the tenants may have are quickly seen to. Ginos is a good landlord in so far as he recognises the value of a leased property over an empty one.
For him it’s not activation it’s his company’s business. He feels that all levels of government must recognise the role of a landlord in building a better city.
“Its getting better but when we want to do something with our property,” says George, pausing to caution COLLECT about not tripping on the loose rubble of the building site. “Its not an activation, per se but if we fix up this building and bring two quality tenants to the city and we fix up the tenancies along Peel Street and bring in quality tenant upstairs, 520 square meters, that’s providing this corner building and Peel Street with a use.
“I guess that’s activating it in a sense that you’re creating useful space and that people are going to come here daily,” says George.
The idea of a useful city may seem simple but its one of those germs every citizen, every business every department at every level of government should be infected by.