Holy Archdiocese of Athens land plots in Megalo Kavouri will be developed for a new hotel

Megalo Kavouri Vouliagameni

After 99 years, the large ecclesiastical property in the Megalo Kavouri area of Vouliagmeni on the Athens Riviera will finally be utilised.

The Holy Archdiocese of Athens and the Monastery of the Holy Incorporeal Taxiarchs are now inviting expressions of interest in the almost 45-acre property "to establish a right on future undeveloped properties," which remains unorganised in terms of urban planning.

This announcement relates to the 44,989 sq.m. property on Aktis and Archimedes streets in Vouliagmeni.

Urban planning unorganised

It should be noted that the property to be exploited has been declared subject to an administrative takeover, which has, however, been automatically lifted due to the lapse of 15 years. However, the area needs to be more organised in urban planning, as no deed has been issued to restore its previous urban planning status (land use and building conditions).

The Holy Monastery will always retain the right of ownership over the area's land to be exploited. At the same time, the investor will have the acquisition of real rights over the buildings that will be erected at their own expense. The property is offered for the operation of a hotel unit for which the investor, in addition to the predetermined annual price, will have to pay an additional amount that will be calculated on the turnover.

The area, at the best and most prominent point of the Athens Riviera, by decision of the Prefect of Eastern Attica in 1995, was designated as a public green space, but without paying compensation to the Monastery.

Due to the long-term maintenance of the above rhizotomy commitment without the payment of compensation, the Ecclesiastical Central Finance Service requested the lifting of the appropriation and subsequently, due to the implicit rejection of the request by the Municipality, appealed to the Administrative Court of First Instance of Piraeus.

The Court of First Instance annulled the Municipality's tacit refusal to lift the zoning expropriation in 2013 and ordered the zoning plan amendment so the property could be developed again. The relevant decision of the Administrative Court of First Instance of Piraeus was made irrevocable by a decision of the Council of State in 2017, which rejected an appeal by the Municipality of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni against it.

However, to date, as claimed by the Monastery, the Municipality has not complied with the operative part of the decision of the Administrative Court of First Instance of Piraeus. Furthermore, according to what is mentioned on the part of the Monastery in the call for expression of interest, the land expropriation has been automatically lifted due to the lapse of 15 years (it is now valid under the newest provision of Law 4759/2020), "but the area is still unorganised from an urban planning point of view as it is not a deed has been issued to restore its previous urban planning status (land use and building conditions) and therefore the plot area to be utilised remains unregulated in terms of urban planning and, by extension, unbuildable."

The Holy Monastery of the Incorporeal Petrakis will evaluate freely and "without notice" the submitted proposals of the investors at its absolute discretion. In contrast, the rejection of the proposals is not required to be justified, nor is the Monastery obliged to communicate it to the investor. The latter, for their part, after signing the relevant contract establishing the surface right, will undertake all the necessary actions to issue a decision that will amend the plan to remove the planning commitment, define the building conditions and subsequently issue all the permits required for the implementation of their proposal.

If the area is regulated by urban planning, but the contract with the interested investors has yet to be concluded, and the Monastery decides to announce a public tender based on the current invitation, only those participating in the proposal submission process can participate as bidders.

Stefania Souki is a columnist for New Money. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos.

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