Pharmacists George Atzemis and Con Berbatis have quietly built a land and shopping centre empire over the past 40 years.
The longstanding friends, who met when Mr Berbatis was a locum in Mr Atzemis’ Osborne Park pharmacy in 1969, hooked up in the property sector by developing a medical centre in 1981.
They have become major property investors throughout WA — together and in their own ventures.
The duo made a stunning entry into this year’s WA Rich List, rocketing into the No.29 slot with a fortune worth $335 million.
Their joint holdings include Plaza Arcade in the Perth CBD, the sprawling Waterford Plaza opposite Curtin University and Kardinya Park Shopping Centre on South Street.
They recently made headlines in property circles with the $60 million-plus sale of their Holiday Inn Perth City Centre hotel to a Singapore group. Mr Atzemis is also the owner of a big chunk of the Empire Village shopping centre in City Beach.
He is now working with construction group Jaxon building a new $80 million, 27-storey Mantra Hotel on the old Musgrove Music site on Hay Street, west of the Holiday Inn.
Mr Berbatis’ private holdings include Port Hedland’s The Esplanade Hotel and neighbouring motel-style accommodation.
Mr Berbatis has a long connection to pubs.
His godfather Nicholas Pilatis is understood to have been the first Greek hotel owner in WA when he bought the Shamrock Hotel in Geraldton in the 1940s.