The former heads of two of Australia’s biggest property and construction companies will be inducted into the Property Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Property Council of Australia has announced that Ervin Graf, Bruno Grollo and Rino Grollo will be inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2014 for their outstanding contributions to the property and building sectors.
Ervin Graf was a native of Hungry who was responsible for the founding of property giant Stockland shortly after emigrating to Australia in the wake of the Second World War.
Graf was trained as an architect in his country of origin, yet found himself compelled to take up work as a bricklayer in Sydney when he first emigrated to his adopted homeland.
He founded Stock and Holdings in 1952 with the construction of 19 fibro houses in the Sydney suburb of Sefton. Since the company’s public listing six years subsequently, Stockland has grown into Australia’s largest diversified property group.
Some of his landmark developments included the Park Regis Towers, Stockland House on the corner of Park and Castlereagh streets, as well as one of Australia’s first drive-in shopping centres in Wollongong.
In June 2000 Graf was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his pivotal contribution to the nation’s building and property sectors.
Graf retired from the position of Stockland chairman in October 2000, at a dinner ceremony which was attended by then Prime Minister John Howard, as well as a many of the leading figures in Australia’s property and finance circles.He passed away less than two years after his retirement at the age of 77, after suffering a heart attack on the Gold coast.
Brothers Bruno and Rino Grollo transformed a modest concrete and paving business, founded by their father Luigi Grollo in the 1940’s while he was still an impoverished recent immigrant from Italy, into Grocon, one of Australia’s largest private building firms.
The two brothers joined the company while they were in their teens, during a period when it was undergoing rapid expansion by concreting municipal swimming pools and petrol stations in Melbourne.
Their father ceded the reins of the company to his sons in the 1970’s, during a decade when Grocon embarked upon the development of projects itself, such as shopping centres and high-rise buildings.
Grocon’s accomplishments include Rialto Towers – the second tallest concrete building in the southern hemisphere; Crown Casino, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, the ANZ Bank Centre, and Sydney’s World Tower.
The three industry icons will be formally inducted into the 2014 Australian Property Hall of Fame at a presentation ceremony in May which will be held at Sydney’s Star Event Centre.