Hellinikon, a highly anticipated, controversial and delayed project set to breathe new life into the Athenian Riviera is ready to begin after the government announced that it would be proceeding in the coming days with the transfer of property rights to concessionaire Lamda Development.
The announcement came after the Council of State cleared the last objections by locals against the project.
Lamda said in an announcement that it was a “historic day” for the billion-euro investment to develop Greece’s former Hellinikon airport site along the Athenian Riviera into a multi-purpose hub and that the “vision of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe is becoming a reality”.
ATHEX-listed Lamda Development has undertaken to redevelop Athens’ former airport site located in the southern suburbs on the coast. It is the largest private investment ever made in Greece.
Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis confirmed this week that the transfer will be finalized on June 25, and “in the next few days the main projects begin”.
“We have already completed the architectural designs for the first phase, and we will start presenting them very soon, while we have also secured financing for all these projects. We have brilliant partnerships participating into the project, from Greece and abroad,” said Lamda Development CEO Odisseas Athanasiou.
“With Hellinikon, we will introduce a model project on multiple levels – a project that enhances our country’s global image,” he added.
Hellinikon, considered the largest greenfield urban infrastructure development investment in Europe, is the largest privately-funded investment to be carried out in Greece, budgeted at around 8 billion euros and set to create more than 75,000 jobs. At the same time, the country’s first Integrated resort and casino (IRC), INSPIRE Athens, is expected to increase international tourism arrivals to Attica by 10 percent.
In its statement, Lamda Development said it would proceed with the first 300-million-euro instalment of the share acquisition price to the Greek state on June 25 and that the 347-million-euro credit bond will be delivered to Greece’s assets company, the HRADF.
According to the contract, the company acquires the right to full ownership of 30 percent of the area of the former airport along the Athenian Riviera and 30 percent of the coastal zone area, excluding the seafront and the beach, and surface rights in the rest of the Metropolitan Pole, excluding common and public spaces.
Additionally, it also secures rights to all residential developments and full ownership right to a shopping center, a high rise building for mixed use (hotel and offices), and a high rise office building all on Vouliagmeni Avenue, and to a hotel on the coastal front.
Lamda will also have full ownership of the high rise (200m) residential building in the area of the marina, homes on the coastal front, and all residential buildings around the park.
According to Georgiadis, the first phase of the project, which includes clearing up the area, tearing down some 900 old buildings and the construction of a casino, two hotels and skyscrapers with offices will be completed in 3.5 years.
Georgiadis is expected to inaugurate the works in July.
Hellinikon: Taking Greece into the New Era
“This is a historic time which coincides with the reopening of the Greek economy and the country’s recovery effort. Lamda Development will play a leading role in this effort,” the company said, adding that the project will give the Greek economy “a growth boost, re-positioning Greece on the global investment and tourism map, incorporating cutting-edge technologies, and modern design and architecture principles”.
Aiming at transparency and in efforts to inform the public on the progress made on the project, Lamda Development said it will organize a series webinars.
The first two focusing on the architectural designs for the first residential tower in Greece and on plans for the redevelopment of the coastal front will be held in the first two weeks of July.
Lamda Development SA is a holding company specializing in the development, investment, and management of real estate and behind major projects including The Mall Athens, Golden Hall, Thessaloniki’s Mediterranean Cosmos, and Flisvos Marina in Faliro.
Lamda entered an agreement with the Greek state in 2014 for the acquisition of Hellinikon SA shares aiming to redevelop the former international airport area.