Exhibition spaces, areas for commercial use, and the creation of a metropolitan park are just some of the proposals tabled as part of a master plan for the revamp of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center (Helexpo) which is now open for public deliberation.
The plan, which also includes facilities that will cater to the increasing needs of visitors for congresses and tourism, aims to upgrade the TIF-Helexpo center, but also to establish the venue and surrounding areas as a city landmark and point of reference by 2026.
More specifically, according to the tentative timeline, construction will be carried out over the 2023-2026 period in order for the project to be completed and operational by 2026, which marks the 100th anniversary of the annual TIF fair.
A 50,000m2 area of exhibition space is centered around three main kiosks, which will be arranged depending on the needs of each exhibition. Bioclimatic architectural plans also include an office complex, a conference center, a hotel and an underground parking area in addition to the already existing Palais de Sport known today as the Alexandreio Melathron Nick Galis Hall, the OTE Tower, and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art.
During the 30-day consultation period, TIF management is preparing to launch an international architectural competition later this year with the aim to have finalized by 2021 the financing plan for the investment, currently budgeted at 100-120 million euros. The plan will then have to go through the Council of State.
It should be noted that the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center is of major commercial and political importance for the northern port city hosting each year the country’s largest trade fair and the Greek prime minister’s annual policy address.