Bold vision for Hotel Australasia

A five-star hotel complete with a function room, upstairs accommodation, cafe, bar, swimming pool, souvenir store and local artwork is set to take pride of place on Imlay Street.

Irisha project manager Simon Petzierides said his company wanted to create something special for the community as the successful tenderer of Eden’s Hotel Australasia.

“We’ll open up the laneway and have a street cafe as we aim to create something solid for future generations,” Mr Petzierides said.

He said Irisha would work with local artists and Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council to create an outdoor space that belonged to the community.

“We want to create a postcard for local artwork. We’ll have a Hollywood-style paved roadway using the idea of names and stars which tell a local story,” Mr Petzierides said.

Hotel Australasia in 1908. Photo: The George family collection

Hotel Australasia in 1908. Photo: The George family collection

“We’ll restore the front of the property exactly as it was, which will enter into the area’s first five-star hotel reception function centre.

“It will be an ideal place for commitment ceremonies, such as weddings. It will then pour into the outdoor beer garden and swimming pool.”

Irisha and co-tenderer RubyCove will demolish all the extensions, starting with the external facades, before turning it into a “boutique hotel”.

When asked about the Melbourne-based company’s interest in Eden, Mr Petzierides said Irisha and RubyCove were excited by what Eden had to offer.

“My parents regularly took us to Eden. My father is retiring as a builder, so this project means a lot to him,” Mr Petzierides said.

“Dad’s going to be retiring in the area, so he’s really looking forward to this last big job.”

Mr Petzierides’ father, Kyriakos Petzierides, is one of the directors of Irisha. Mr Petzierides’ wife, Irina Belyaeva, is the other.

The company was registered as an Australian Proprietary Company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in April, 2016.

Mr Petzierides’ cousin, Ken Petzierides, is a director of Geelong-based RubyCove, which was registered in May 2017.

Ken Petzierides and his family will relocate to Eden early next year after recently purchasing the Heritage House Motel on Imlay Street.

Simon Petzierides said Irisha had also purchased land on Albert Terrace next to the Eden Killer Whale Museum, with the vision of building four properties.

Other potential future developments include an aged care facility on a site in Pambula and 80 homes on another parcel of land in Pambula.

Asked about the timing of registering the respective companies, Mr Petzierides said Irisha’s focus had evolved to fitting out high-end hotels from housing developments, while RubyCove was looking to set up specifically in NSW.

“We’re going to try and create as much work as we can locally,” Mr Petzierides said.

“The hotel could potentially employ more than 100 people.

“We’re trying to introduce as many people as we can to give Eden and the Sapphire Coast a boost in tourism.”

Mr Petzierides explained personal circumstances led to one of his early real estate companies experiencing financial difficulties. It was placed in liquidation in 2003.

He said his business suffered when at age 21 he was struck by a double-decker bus and hospitalised for about one year.

“The ATO instigated it. About 100 good people lost their job as a result of my accident,” he said.

“I had to sell the company up. They took as much money as they could.”

Court documents from the case between Mr Petzierides and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) reveal "The Australian Tax Office (ATO) sued the plaintiff on 21 May 2003 and entered judgement against him on 16 June 2004 for the sum of $140,629.05".

“When he went bankrupt he had debts in excess of $1million,” the transcript reads.

Mr Petzierides said sticking by his family since the incident had resulted in the business becoming financially strong.

“We submitted a lot of information to the council, who were very diligent in their work,” he said.

“They spoke to our accountants and engaged a company to look into our affairs.

“I’m very excited to be doing the development. Once the side deed is done we can move forward.”

Fairfax Media understands the side deed will act as covenant on the property to ensure renovations are compliant with Bega Valley Shire Council’s wishes.