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HELLINIKON PROJECT A New Era for Greece

24 June 14 - RE+D Magazine
HELLINIKON PROJECT A New Era for Greece

LAMDA Development presented today its detailed plans for the development of the 6.200-acre area of the former Athens airport at Hellinikon, following the company’s selection as the preferred bidder for the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Hellinikon S.A.


The proposal is backed by the Global Investment Group, which apart from the Latsis group further comprises the Chinese company Fosun and Abu Dhabi’s Al Maabar. The project’s overall cost is estimated at 8 billion euros.

The press conference featured a presentation of the project team as well as a detailed description of the development plans. The speakers highlighted the construction of the Metropolitan Park, green development in general, the upgrade of the beach front, the social and economic benefits as well as the expected boost in tourism.
 
Chief Executive Officer of LAMDA Development, Mr. Odisseas Athanassiou, presented the company’s vision regarding the makeover of the former airport and pointed out the multiple benefits on a local and national level. Among other things, he said: “Through works of international standing, LAMDA Development has been supporting Greek society and economy for more than a decade. Led by our consistent commitment to the country’s future, at a time when Greek economy is gradually overcoming a painful economic crisis, LAMDA Development embraces the country once more by taking on a project that will redefine the capital’s identity. The vision of the company and its investing partners is to create a metropolitan development. The region’s beauty and unique features will be combined with landmark buildings, innovative infrastructure and services of the highest standards, which will improve the daily life of Attiki’s millions of residents.”

Contributing partners include the architectural firm Foster + Partners, the landscape architecture, planning and urban design company Melendrez, the hospitality consulting firm HVS as well as numerous Greek technical consultants under the coordination of A. N . Tombazis & Associates Architects.
 
During the press conference, representatives of the aforementioned associates analyzed the architectural structure of the project, the creation of the Metropolitan Park and the expected benefits for the tourism industry following the project’s completion.
 
On behalf of Foster+Partners, Mrs. Antoinette Nassopoulos stated: “This is one of the biggest projects in Europe. We will adopt a model urban development, with the aim of upgrading the living standards of both residents through a combination of green development and the infrastructure of the highest level.”

Principal of Melendrez, Mr. Charles Anderson, stated: “The Metropolitan Park will serve as the capital’s largest green “lung” and will contribute significantly to the improvement of the microclimate of Hellinikon’s broader region. Its instant accessibility and proximity to the beach will also appeal to all families.”

HVS Chairman, Mr. Russell Kett, highlighted the boost on tourism. "By providing hotel services of high quality, combined with an upgrade of infrastructure, the landmark park and the direct access to the beach, we expect to attract an additional 1,000,000 tourists annually, repositioning Athens on the world map."

The innovative metropolitan development, which will be implemented in Hellinikon, includes the creation of one of world’s biggest parks, with free and easy access to all. Equivalent to London’s Hyde Park and 15 times as big as Athens’ National Park, the 2,000,000-square-meter park will be Attiki’s green lung.
 
The beachfront will be upgraded with the creation of a new, continuous, 1 km. beach in the area of Aghios Kosmas. The Olympic venues and other historical and architectural landmark buildings will be upgraded, so that the country’s contemporary heritage is highlighted and can become more readily accessible to the public.
 
The makeover of Hellinikon will have multiple benefits for the local community, mainly through the improvement and modernization of basic infrastructure works and the creation of new ones. Specifically, apart from the expansion and upgrade of the road network, pedestrian and cycle routes will be constructed so as to facilitate residents and visitors.
 
Further provisions for numerous playgrounds, an International Health Centre and an International Education Center, along with numerous public venues, will breathe new life to the residents of neighboring municipalities. Significant attention will be given to the relocation of NGOs currently housed in Hellinikon, so that they can continue operating undistracted.
 
The development of Hellinikon will result in the creation of almost 50.000 new job placements until 2025, 20.000 of which will open during construction and the rest 30.000 following completion.
The project is estimated to contribute to Greece’s GDP by 2% per year until 2025, while the overall taxes and social contributions are estimated to exceed €10 billion. Hellinikon’s reconstruction will attract foreign tourists and investors, while there will also be many side-benefits in education, culture, health and technology.

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