Works on two projects expected to breathe new life into the Athenian Riviera – Hellinikon and its casino – are set to begin in the coming months, according to company executives participating in the recent 6th Delphi Economic Forum.
One of the country’s largest investments expected to attract more than 1.5 million tourists each year and create thousands of jobs, the landmark project at Athens’ former airport is expected to get the green light from the Greek Finance Ministry in the next three weeks with the transfer of shares to be completed by July.
Speaking during the forum, Odisseas Athanasiou, CEO Lamda Development SA, confirmed that Hellinikon’s first two projects will be licensed in the fall, with the company inking deals for up to 500 projects in July. He said Lamda – the company awarded the concession – is aiming to complete the coastal zone part of the project in 2025.
Athanasiou said his company was financially “self-sufficient” and in a position to develop Hellinikon infrastructure at least for projects planned in the first five years, underlining however that he considers synergies very important mainly for reasons of specialization.
Casino ready in 36 months
With regard to the country’s first integrated casino, Ray Pineault, managing director of Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) which was awarded the project, said it would be completed in 36 months once procedures and paper work were in place.
The project, named INSPIRE Athens, which Pineault described as a massive tourism investment, is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2025-26, he said.
“Hellinikon is a project that will change the region. It will attract many visitors annually and increase tourism to Attica by 10 percent. In addition, it will create some 7,000 new jobs and bring many millions of tax revenues to the Greek state,” said Pineault.