Athens old ‘Hellenikon’ airport- currently a migrant camp for refugees is reportedly a step closer to being transformed into one of Europe’s biggest coastal resorts- if all goes well for a Greek development company.
LAMDA Development has put forward a €7billion plan to turn the ruined site into a classy waterfront precinct of hotels, residences and boutiques.
LAMDA specialise in the development, investment and management of real estate. The company’s development portfolio includes The Mall Athens and Golden Hall in Athens, Mediterranean Cosmos in Thessaloniki, office buildings, residential complexes and Flisvos Marina in Faliro.
In November 2014, LAMDA Development group signed the contract with HRADF for the acquisition of the shares of the “Hellinikon SA”. The Investment is said to transform the plot of the former Hellinikon Airport into the largest privately funded investment ever in Greece.
“This project is a game-changer,” Odisseas Athanassiou, Lamda’s chief executive, told reporters. “It is going to change the psychology of foreign capital toward investment in Greece.”
Greece’s tourism industry has shown great resilience despite an on-going migrant and economic crisis, with a record 23.5million holidaymakers visiting Greece in 2015.
If this ‘Hellenikon’ proposal set on a 1,530 acre site goes ahead as planned, it will no doubt strengthen Greece’s tourism and possibly have visitors stay longer in Athens, as opposed to a 2-day or weekend stop over.
Backed by Chinese international investment company Fosun, an Abu Dhabi-based company and other prospective investors, LAMDA are forecast to spend about €1.5billion on roads and other infrastructure, with an extra €5.5billion going towards 8,000 residencies, hotels, shops, restaurants and a park.
As mentioned in another article published by Greek City Times today, migrants are being transferred out of Athens (Piraeus and at Hellinikon)- this according to LAMDA is vital for its progress.
Athanassiou hopes that construction will commence in the first half of next year, with many of the buildings ready for 2020.
“Since it’s not only for the elite, there will be several mid-range residences. I believe a lot of people would like to live there,” he added.