ATHENS – The Greek development company Lamda received land from the country's privatization fund at the site of the former Hellenikon international airport on the capital's coast in another sign the long-stalled 8-billion euro ($9.56 billion) plan is moving ahead.
The project, the biggest in Greece, was stalled for 4 ½ years by the former ruling anti-business Radical Left SYRIZA which has a hard core element that doesn't want foreign investment.
It was started again by the New Democracy Conservatives when they ousted the leftists in July, 2019 snap elections before it hit another roadblock when the COVID-19 pandemic struck early in 2020.
The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), was also handed a down payment of 300 million euros ($358.35 million,) the first tranche of a 915-million-euro ($1.093 billion) concession fee owed to the state, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.
Lamda Development's subsidiary also presented a 347.1-million-euro ($414.61 million) letter of guarantee, the signing of the land rights marking the commencement of works by the company, ready to start.
The site was supposed to be the biggest urban park in Europe before Greece's economic crisis hit in 2010 and was changed to a mixed development that will include a casino, commercial spaces, a site for yachts, and a smaller park.
There will also be an upscale residential neighborhood up to six high-rise buildings and with a seafront featuring new marinas, beaches and entertainment complexes and will be called the Metropolitan Pole of Helleniko and the Aghios Kosmas site.