Piraeus Port is set to receive a huge makeover with major investments for upgrades and interest in property rising, Piraeus Mayor Yiannis Moralis says this is a great moment to redefine the port city and upgrade the standard of living for its residents.
In an interview to Naftemporiki, Moralis says tapping into the municipality’s assets, which include disused properties and its port facilities are his top priority with the aim to boost entrepreneurship and improve life for city residents through a far-reaching urban renewal program that will start from the port.
In his second five-term, Moralis admits that his biggest challenge will be to put a total of 111.7 million euros in funding to good use. Topping the list is the overhaul of the port city’s 22-storey tower, the municipality’s largest asset, which has been in disuse for over 45 years. Under the agreement announced this week, the municipality selected a preferred bidder in a tender for the 99-year concession of the Piraeus Tower for an annual lease of at least 1 million euros while retaining the right to revise the annual lease upward by 2 percent each year.
Besides revenues generated by the Piraeus Port Authority, Moralis said other plans in the urban upgrade program for the city include the utilization of the Ralleios School, the city’s second largest asset, as well as the creation of business activities in and around the port.
In this direction, Moralis said, Piraeus has hosted many significant conferences linked with the blue economy and has supported related business clusters.
With regard to the master plan for the development of the port, Moralis said he was satisfied with the decision to prohibit the creation of a shopping mall in the port.
“The idea is for cruise passengers to disperse into the city to support the existing market, while we are now discussing the addition of two new cruise liner positions which were already mandatory investments but also have environmental and traffic conditions,” he said.
The development of Piraeus Port into one of Europe’s leading container terminals through a series of investments made by port authority manager Cosco topped the agenda of talks during Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to China this week.