ATHENS – Greece’s Lamda Development expects some 58 percent of revenues to be derived from its 8-billion euro ($8.8 billion) project to turn the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport into a high-end mixed use will come from the sale of luxury residences.
The 620-hectare (1532-acres) area was supposed to be Europe’s largest park before Greece’s 9 ½-year economic crisis led successive governments to switch toward a more commercial use, that will include residences for the wealthy, a marina for their yachts, a casino, businesses and less green space.
Lamda said it wanted to buy out its partners, China’s Fosun and Abu Dhabi’s Eagle Hills to be the sole developer and that it has budgeted two million euros ($2.2 billion) for the first five years of the massive development that has been stalled since it closed in 2001.
Some 7 billion euros ($7.7 billion) is budgeted for construction and landscaping, with another 915 million euros ($1.006 billion) the cost for acquiring shares of Helleniko, the state’s holding company for the large tract of land in coastal southeast Athens, the location where the old Athens airport once operated, the business newspaper Naftermporiki said in a report.
Lamda Development CEO Odysseas Athanasiou, who spoke during a recent shareholders’ general assembly meeting, where a 650-million-euro ($714.64 million) share capital increase was finalized, said the investment is forecast to turn a profit by the fourth year of implementation.
“The project will be financially successful if some 10,000 residences are absorbed (sold), if not then it will not have the success that we have described in the business plan,” he said, although it’s expected to be a hot spot linking a 612 million-euro ($612.72 million) overhaul of the port of Piraeus by the Chinese company COSCO which operates it down the coast past the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to Hellenikon.
The giant project was stymied during the 4 1/2-year rule of the anti-foreign business Radical Left SYRIZA was ousted in July 7 snap elections by New Democracy which is pushing for a year-end start to construction.