The multi-million-euro overhaul of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center is expected to create momentum and 1,500 new jobs, said TIF-Helexpo President Tasos Tzikas during the ongoing Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum.
More specifically, the investment budgeted at 200 million euros is set to generate over half a billion euros annually and 1,500 new jobs.
The project involves the redevelopment of the TIF-Helexpo fairgrounds, in the heart of the northern port city, into a multipurpose convention center and urban park dubbed the Thessaloniki ConfEx Park.
The project is set to be completed in 2026, creating 1,000 new jobs during the four-year construction period as well as 350 million euros in revenues.
Tzikas said a finalized master plan and timeframe for the completion of the project will be made public soon as well as funding sources, which he said will be provided from public-private partnerships.
Tzikas described the highly anticipated project as a much-needed economic and developmental “lung” for Thessaloniki, particularly after the cancelation of the 85th the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) due to Covid-19, which is estimated at leading to over 50 million euros in losses for the city.
“For every single euro increase in the exhibition sector, there is an increase of 1.9 euros for the local economy… the local economy doubles due to TIF,” he said, adding that Thessaloniki needs a new exhibition center in order to be able to compete with Belgrade, Bucharest, Skopje, Sofia and the other cities of Southeastern Europe
Meanwhile, TIF-Helexpo is expected to launch on September 28 an international open call to architects for the first phase of a design competition for the revamp of the Thessaloniki exhibition center.