Path cleared for creation of 300-mln mall in Athens

By Nikos Roussanoglou

A 300-million-euro investment in the creation of a major shopping center in Athens by a BlackRock-owned company came closer to realization on Wednesday with the signature of a ministerial decision allowing for a change to land usage in the neighborhood near Plato’s Academy in Kolonos.

The decision signed by Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis amends the general town planning of Athens, allowing for the industrial manufacturing zone to become one of redevelopment, following a process that has lasted about two years.

Since 2007, Artume SA, which belongs to the BlackRock investment group, has been buying up plots totaling some 20,000 square meters on Kifissou Avenue, close to Lenorman Street, and paying some 37 million euros in the process. It is planning to develop a multi-level shopping and entertainment center with a total leasable surface area of 55,000 sq.m. under the name Academy Gardens.

According to a study conducted by the Athens University of Economics and Business, the construction of the mall will create 1,600 jobs while its operation will create some 2,000 permanent jobs.