Expression of Interest proposals for the Cyprus Club to be reviewed by members

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The Cyprus Community of NSW have announced the completion of the first round in the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for the Cyprus Club site at Stanmore in Sydney’s Inner West.

Speaking exclusively with The Greek Herald, President of the Community, Michael Kyriacou said the responses from local and overseas parties was positive.

Mr Kyriacou explained the purpose of the EOI process was to identify what can be done with the recently rezoned Stanmore property to maximise the benefit for the Community and its future needs.

The EOI process was first launched in May 2024 amid turmoil between members of the Community and the Board of Directors over the future of the Cyprus Club at Stanmore and whether to ‘stay or sell’ the property.

The Club has accumulated more than $8 million debt over many years. Most of the debt is in the form of loans to fund real estate purchased by the Community. Adelaide Bendigo Bank advised the Community their loan term would end on March 19 this year and they would not be renewing the loan.

Treasurer Terry Bieri said that the Cyprus Club has not traded well for decades, with its last major renovations done back in 1989.

cyprus_club
The Cyprus Club at Stanmore has accumulated more than $8 million debt over many years.

Mr Bieri said the Club rezoning provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity for renewal, with the Community already launching a young professionals membership drive to get more youth involved and secure the future of the Community.

Garry Day, the Club’s long standing external auditor, has audited many clubs throughout New South Wales including the Castellorizian Club in Kingsford before it closed its doors.

In a report to Community members earlier this year, Mr Day made it clear ‘staying’ at the Club and ‘doing nothing’ was not an option.

Mr Bieri said Mr Day’s report highlighted that the Club in its current state was not feasible and it was not viable to maintain and operate such a large building which was not used and made no money during the week. The report also estimated the Club’s losses were between $2,000 to $6,000 per week.

Mr Bieri said that without the help of members raising funds for Cyprus Capital Ltd, the Club would not be able to operate. He reassured members that the Community’s assets had significantly increased in value and it still held licenses for 60 gaming machines – 33 of which are operational.

Mr Kyriacou added that the Community operates a ‘kafenio,’ Greek language and dancing schools, a soccer club, the ‘Cypriots for ANZACs’ initiative and many other activities. But said the Community cannot continue in its current state indefinitely.

Mr Bieri said the EOI was not solely focused on any sale, but rather it was open to any party with a good track record, a balance sheet and a proven ability and capacity to put forward a viable solution for the benefit of the Community.

Mr Kyriacou said that the Community also has a future needs programme in place as a result of input from many stakeholders and experts.

Mr Bieri thanked the Community’s supporters, volunteers and team of experts who have worked very hard over many months to deliver a successful EOI.

cyprus club stanmore
The property at Stanmore.

He said that despite tensions between Community members and the Board of Directors on the future of the Club, the Board remains focused on keeping members informed at each stage of the sale process to ensure there is no spread of misinformation or scaremongering.

The Community has identified the type of facilities and services it will need to engage with the next generation and preserve its sacred mission. The use of real estate is only one part of the renewal process.

The EOI process has brought up very unique and creative proposals for the Stanmore property, not just the typical land development ideas.

Shortly, the members will be asked to consider the EOI proposals in what is being considered a historic moment for the Community.

Mr Kyriacou said there have been many ideas put forward, but they must be viable and not risk the Community’s property and mission and ensure the Community gets the best use and benefits from its property.

“We are very excited that the market has responded in such a strong manner,” Mr Kyriacou concluded.

“Our focus must always be about the next generation – a Community that is relevant to the generations to come. We all have an obligation to our youth, to our mission to preserve our culture and identity.

“This is more than real estate or buildings. It’s about moving forward to continue to be vibrant and inclusive. The EOI process and the upcoming members decision is only a part of our renewal process as the Community approaches its centenary.”

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