HAKOAH Club has named prominent businessmen Phillip Wolanski and Allen Linz to co-chair its development committee.
The appointments come after Westfield boss Frank Lowy stepped in prior to Hakoah’s annual general meeting in March to broker a truce between the board and a rival ticket, who, citing a lack of progress in plans to develop White City, were vying for control.
Wolanski is well-known in the community and a previous Hakoah vice-president. He has over 35 years’ experience in the property industry, including residential, commercial, retail, hotel and industrial development and investment.
Linz has nearly 20 years’ experience in the property industry as a developer and investor and is currently developing the former Swiss Grand Hotel site at Bondi. He is a former JewishCare board member and oversaw the planning and construction of that organisation’s new headquarters.
In a joint statement, the new co-chairs said: “White City provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to design and build a world class facility for both our community and the wider eastern suburbs community.
“It’s a privilege to co-chair the Hakoah development committee and be involved in this exciting venture. Some amazing work has been done by the board and the team to date and it’s now a matter of refining some of the details with a view to lodging a DA with Council in the very near future.”
Hakoah president George Farkas said: “It is a coup for Hakoah that these two gentlemen have agreed to bring their extensive knowledge and property development experience to co-chairing the committee.”
The two co-chairs will also be joined on the committee by Westfield Corporation CFO Elliott Rusanow and Scentre Group general manager of development Roy Gruenpeter.
Farkas said: “The board is confident, with the above expertise now on board, that the prospects of achieving a successful outcome have been significantly enhanced, so that the benefits of this unique site can be available to the whole community.”
Solicitor Carl Reid, who was part of the opposition ticket alongside communal heavyweights including former JCA president David Balkin and former Hakoah president Andrew Kemeny, was cautiously optimistic about the new appointments.
“We always maintained that the current board didn’t have the experience or expertise for a project of this size and complexity. We welcome the addition of these respected and experienced property developers to supplement the board,” he said.
“Hopefully some progress will now be made and a DA can be lodged with the Council.”
Phillip Wolanski is co-chairing Hakoah’s development committee.