Hotelier and businessman Andrew Lazarus says people should be more involved in their communities. Over the past 30 years, his work includes real estate developments that have increased business in the Sydney and Newcastle areas.
In Australia, Andrew Lazarus is well-known for his business deals, specifically in renovating and managing hotels along the coast.
His recent shift in focus has been to increase his community service and philanthropic work in the area. He says he wants to build a legacy that includes a lot of value for the community. Philanthropy isn’t a new focus, but nonprofit ventures are now taking a larger role in his life. Andrew Lazarus has always found ways to contribute to charities and give back.
Why Andrew Lazarus Says It’s Important to Give Back
When it comes to business, it’s easy to get caught up in the bottom dollar. Now that he is reaching retirement age, Lazarus is taking a more hands-on approach to giving back.
Andrew Lazarus always wanted to get into real estate development to build up communities. “It’s too easy to get caught in the mindset that profit is all that matters,” he says. “Sure, it is really important to have a property increase in value and produce sales—but it’s also important to provide a place people are proud to have near their neighborhood.”
Finding the Community Connection
He says giving back is one way to stay connected to the heartbeat of the locals. “When we participate in community events, we get a much wider perspective of who our neighbors are,” he explains. “Surprisingly, it can be difficult to really learn about people until you spend time with them and show you care. There is a connection formed over common ground when you are working with others for a good cause.
Becoming a Community Business Leader
As a key player in the real estate industry, Andrew Lazarus says his philanthropic work hones his leadership ability. “Giving back helps show you are human too, and it increases your humility,” he notes. “If you can serve, then you can lead.” He says that employees are more likely to get on board when leadership is concerned about more than just the business’s bottom line.
Learning Flexibility and Teamwork
Even leaders have more to learn because the growth process should never end. Andrew Lazarus says a huge personal benefit of philanthropic work is how it changes personal assumptions. “You might think you have a pretty solid perspective of the world, but working closely with others on important projects will stretch your understanding,” he notes. “It can be very off-putting at first; you have to be willing to change things even if you have a pretty strong opinion on how something should go. As leaders, we tend to hyper-focus on getting things done efficiently, which often includes a lot of decision-making. When you are doing community work, you are often not orchestrating every project. So you learn very valuable lessons on flexibility and teamwork.”
About Andrew Lazarus and Eastern Hotels Group
Andrew Lazarus’ Eastern Hotels Group is responsible for many large buys and impressive renovation projects in Sydney and Newcastle. Some of his most recent projects have included:
Exchange Hotel Purchase and Renovation
Purchased in 2016, Eastern Hotels Group took on this project to design a music space for Newcastle. The $6 million renovation included an upstairs cocktail bar and exclusive VIP area.
Sale of the Vaucluse Home
The landmark sale of the Vaucluse Home was notable because it was considered a trophy home in a high-end area. The house was sold by Lazarus to Jordana Sharon-Zipser in 2018 for $8 million. Jordana’s husband Roby Sharon-Zipser is co-founder and CEO of Hi-Pages.
Purchase and Renovation of Macquarie Hotel
For $25 million, Eastern Hotels Group purchased the Liverpool hotel to get in on the development boom of west Sydney. There, he opened a new pub and finished the renovations that had already been started on the hotel.
Shoal Bay Country Club Purchase and Atmosphere Change
This luxury property was in Lazarus’s sights for some time before he finally pulled the trigger. Purchasing the club for $18 million, Lazarus completed a $6 million renovation in 2018.
The Beaches Purchase and Pending Renovations
In 2019, Lazarus purchased this iconic Merewether hotel that had been renovated in 2016. He has plans to update the structural integrity with a $3 million renovation budget.