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Economy

Sneak Preview of Hellenikon Park Opens to Public in Athens

December 20, 2021

ATHENS – While completion of the 8-billion euro ($9,01 billion) development of the abandoned Hellenikon international airport on the capital’s coast is years off, a 7-hectare (17,3-acre) section of what will be a major urban park opened for a preview on Dec. 20.

The so-called “teaser” park has 500 trees and 55,000 plants, water jets, an outdoor gym, a playground and other features and will be open daily but only from 5-10 p.m. No explanation was given why it will be closed during daylight hours.

Once destined to be Europe’s biggest urban park before an economic crisis derailed that idea, the massive project will now include a luxury mall for the rich.

Lamda Development, the Greek company which built the Athens Mall despite claims about the use of the land, is planning a total makeover of the site that is a scene of crumbling concrete tarmacs and decrepit buildings.

The development, that will also include luxury residences, a marina for yachts and a smaller park, is set to become a mixed-use area that will include plenty of space and attractions for the wealthy along a 3.5-kilometer (2.17 mile) stretch, said Kathimerini in a feature.

The focus will be the Marina Galleria mall, covering 22,000 square meters (236,806 square feet) with hosting 70 stores representing Greek and foreign fashion houses, as well as 30 restaurants and cafes.

Lamda Chief Executive Officer Odisseas Athanasiou said at a presentation of the project in July that the restaurants to feature in Marina Galleria will be high-end culinary spots and luxury fashion companies will have shops there.

The plan is to complete the project by 2025, although some parts could be finished earlier, the whole development set back by constant delays, bureaucratic wrangling and the anti-business former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which stymied it for 4 ½ years.

The Marina Galleria property will be beside the Agios Kosmas marina, which will be upgraded, and there will be a 200-meter (656 foot) high luxury residence tower overlooking the sea, for those who can afford it.

That will be a “green” residential high-rise with plantings on the balconies, near a new one-kilometer (.62 miles) beach that will be open to all visitors, unlike other public beaches on Athens’ coast taken over by private companies who charge people to use them.

Besides the stores and the restaurants, Marina Galleria will also host a multitude of cultural activities, such as exhibitions, arts events, the report said.

There will also be two luxury hotels to go along with the luxury mall and the luxury residences and luxury homes, being built at a cost of 300 million euros ($353.78 million) but it wasn’t said what will be available to those with lesser means there.

 

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