Greece is expected to launch an international architecture competition for the overhaul of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center (Helexpo) in April, TIF-Helexpo President Tasos Tzikas said this week.
Tzikas said recommendations made during the public deliberation period had been taken into consideration and a three alterations had been made to the original plans.
More specifically, according to Tzikas, the current plan budgeted at 160 million euros, foresees the allocation of 1.29 hectares of space to the Thessaloniki municipality for additional walkways making access to TIF easier; developing the extended Alexandros Svolos St into a pedestrian walkway leading to the new exhibition center; the allocation of an additional 1 hectare of Angelakis St to the municipality.
“Given that about 50 percent of the land has been allotted for public use for an urban park, pedestrian areas, sidewalks and other open spaces, the impact that the redevelopment will have on downtown Thessaloniki is evident,” said Tzikas.
“From the onset our approach for the redevelopment of the new exhibition and conference center was that it should be a win-win-win solution, that is to the benefit of TIF, the Thessaloniki municipality, and the public, and I think this is achieved,” he added.
At the same time, the Thessaloniki Hotels Association (THA) has welcomed the plan noting that the Helexpo revamp “will change the image of downtown Thessaloniki” and expressing their support of initiatives that will help boost tourism.
Set to be ready by 2026, city officials expect the new TIF-Helexpo center together with the Thessaloniki metro to breathe a new life into Greece’s second largest city.