Describing the multi-billion-euro Hellinikon venture as the “biggest urban regeneration project in Greece”, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced this week that it would be investing 22.7 million euros in Lamda Development’s 650-million-euro share capital increase.
Athens-based real estate group Lamda Development is behind the highly anticipated (and delayed) Hellinikon mega project which is expected to upgrade the Athenian Riviera thanks to a series of commercial, residential and tourist infrastructure works to go up on the property that previously hosted Athens’ airport.
Urban regeneration initiatives and energy efficiency are at the heart of the EBRD’s new property and tourism strategy, which aims to support public- and private-sector efforts to facilitate systematic urban regeneration.
Initially budgeted at 8 billion euros to be invested over a 25-year period, the Hellinikon venture is expected to create thousands of jobs while at the same time boosting state coffers and the country’s GDP.
Earlier this year, the EBRD had stressed that crucial for Greece’s full economic recovery is swiftly implementing reforms, including moving ahead with stalled privatizations such as the Hellinikon project, as well as optimizing public administration and governance.
The funding is aimed at facilitating the transition to a green economy, the bank said in a statement. The EBRD will work with Lamda Development to identify climate actions, including the development of assets at an energy level of nearly zero in compliance with the EU Building Directive and the certification of assets under international sustainability schemes, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Other plans include bringing together Lamda Development with international bodies that manage and oversee green certification schemes. These will help Lamda identify key areas for improvement in relation to energy infrastructure, waste management, water efficiency, smart infrastructure, transportation and reduction of air, soil and water pollution.
According to Lamda Development, Hellinikon is “a big step forward for Greece, a project that will turn Athens into a global investment, tourist, entertainment and cultural destination”.