x

Economy

Hellinikon Development Accelerates After Years of Delays

ATHENS – After years of delays, particularly during the 4.5-year rule of the anti-business SYRIZA government, the €8 billion ($8.6 billion) development of the abandoned Hellinikon international airport is gaining momentum.

The project might have already been completed, but the leftist government, in power from 2015-19, discouraged foreign investors. The ambitious plan is now fully managed by Greece’s Lamda corporation.

The seaside site is transforming into a digital Smart City, primarily offering luxury residences. The high-rise tower, which is almost sold out before completion, attracts foreigners seeking a Golden Visa, offering a residency permit and passport.

Originally envisioned as Europe’s largest urban park, the site shifted to commercial development due to Greece’s economic crisis. Although there will be some green spaces, much of it will cater to businesses and affluent residents.

The project seemed impossible until the New Democracy government, elected in 2019, gave the green light, allowing work to proceed. Clearing old buildings, aircraft, and the weed-covered tarmac began slowly but steadily.

Lamda CEO Odisseas Athanasiou told Bloomberg, “There was justifiable disbelief,” that the project would ever take off.

The Marina Tower, the prime attraction for the wealthy, is now under construction, providing sweeping views of the sea and the city. Greece has allowed businesses to occupy 50% of the coastal space.

Covering 6,200 acres, “The Ellinikon” is Europe’s largest urban project. “This first-of-its-kind city aims to create the perfect blend of luxury, sustainability, and cutting-edge technologies,” noted a news source.

The development includes a luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel, an integrated casino operated by Hard Rock, and Europe’s largest coastal park. There will also be two large shopping malls and a sports complex featuring swimming, soccer, and tennis facilities.

With 140 of the 243 units in another project, Little Athens, already reserved, demand is intense. Marina Tower and beachfront villas and condos have been selling rapidly. As of March 2023, Lamda reported property sales totaling around $690 million.

“By Christmas of 2026, we want residents living in their houses,” said Athanasiou.

Lamda estimates the project could contribute up to 2.5% of Greece’s GDP (€202.61 billion or $217.6 billion) and create 80,000 jobs, generating $10.7 billion in tax revenue after completion in 2037. It is also expected to draw one million tourists annually, around 5% of the total number of visitors to Greece.

Athanasiou highlighted that construction hit its lowest point in ten years during the economic crisis. “People had left the country, and construction companies weren’t as strong as they used to be. Increased construction costs due to the energy crisis after the incident in Ukraine added to this situation,” he explained, referring to Russia’s invasion.

RELATED

ATHENS - It’s rare to see people drunk in public in Greece, where the legal age is 18 but even children can buy beer at kiosks without being questioned, but behind the wheel is another matter, with 44 percent of those surveyed saying they have driven intoxicated.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Zelensky outcries to world from Kharkiv (VIDEO)

KHARKIV - Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has released a video plea calling on world leaders to attend a “peace summit” next month in Switzerland after a deadly Russian attack on a DIY hypermarket in Kharkiv on Saturday.

TEL AVIV, Israel  — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged Monday that a “tragic mistake” had been made after an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah set fire to a tent camp housing displaced Palestinians and, according to local officials, killed at least 45 people.

ATHENS - It’s rare to see people drunk in public in Greece, where the legal age is 18 but even children can buy beer at kiosks without being questioned, but behind the wheel is another matter, with 44 percent of those surveyed saying they have driven intoxicated.

ATHENS - Greece’s reachout to Qatar for closer diplomatic ties, trade and investments - despite an investigation into allegedly bribing European Parliament members, including Greece’s Eva Kaili - will see the country’s leader come to Athens.

ATHENS - Responding to Greece’s plan to create marine parks in the Aegean Sea, Turkey said it would establish one as well, continuing to question sovereignty and upset that it wasn’t notified about the scheme.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.