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Piraeus’ Landmark Tower to Get New Lease on Life

Photo Source: Pila Studio / Konstantinos Koudounis

An abandoned tower in the heart of Piraeus will get a new lease on life after the Piraeus Municipality signed a concession deal this week – under Piraeus Tower SA – with Prodea Investments, Dimand SA – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (aka Cante Holdings Ltd), and Alpha Bank.

The 22-story tower, the municipality’s largest asset, has been in disuse for over 45 years. Under the deal, the municipal authority is estimated at collecting an annual lease of 1.01 million euros, retaining the right to revise the annual lease upward by 2 percent each year.

“This is a historic day for Piraeus and the largest port in the country. The impossible can become possible with design, planning and will,” said Piraeus Mayor Yannis Moralis after finalizing the 99-year concession deal under Piraeus Tower SA with Prodea Investments (30 percent share) and Cante Holdings Ltd – made up of property developer Dimand (65 percent) and EBRD (35 percent) – with a 70 percent share in the presence of the Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos.

The investment is set to begin in the coming weeks and once completed will offer impetus and added value to the city with new jobs, Moralis said.

Piraeus Tower to Give Port New Impetus 

Budgeted at 50 million euros, the mixed-use redevelopment plan includes parking and office spaces, tourism promotion and information areas, shops and cultural facilities, and is scheduled for completion in approximately 33 months, the municipality said.

“Our goal is for this iconic building to come to life again and to become a hub of entrepreneurship for the city,” said Moralis.

Port of Piraeus / © Municipality of Piraeus

Port of Piraeus / © Municipality of Piraeus

In the meantime, Athens-based architects firm PILA has won the international competition to redesign the façade of the 84-meter-tall tower.

Considered the second tallest building in the Athens-Attica area, the Piraeus tower was completed in 1975 and only its first two floors were ever occupied. Dubbed the “sleeping giant”, the iconic building is set to change life in Piraeus particularly in view of increased demand by shipping, tourism, and transport interests for property and office space. The building stands at the entrance of the port.

On his part Georgiadis underlined the political will and cooperation involved in the materialization of the project as well as the fast-track administrative procedures.

Lastly, Theodorikakos referred to the importance of the opening of three new metro stations along the Piraeus-bound blue line on Monday, as well as of the remaining three stations which will linking Piraeus with the airports and the city center.

The upgrade comes under Moralis’ urban renewal plan to redefine the port city and upgrade the standard of living for its residents and visitors, as well as develop Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, into one of Europe’s main cruise homeports.

The plan includes creating more green space, recreation areas, pedestrian walkways, and ensuring accessibility, as well as the establishment of a historic route that will highlight the port city’s ancient history and landmarks with a pedestrian walkway across Zea Marina.

According to developers, the overhaul of the 30,000m2 Piraeus Tower will focus on the use of sustainable materials and the creation of green zones.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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