Elliniko to partially open in 2017

The Elliniko development will open to the public in three years’ time, with work starting in 2015 when Lamda Development pays its first installment to the state for the coastal plot, privatization fund TAIPED told a press conference on Thursday.

“The added value for the country is huge,” TAIPED head Constantinos Maniatopoulos said.

It is estimated that the development of Athens’s former international airport on the city’s southern coast will generate 50,000 to 60,000 jobs, with Lamda having committed to investing 5.9 billion euros for the first 15 years.

The fund announced that the first part of the project, a large metropolitan park, is slated to open in 2017 – provided that it doesn’t run into any major obstacles.

Before the digging starts, the State Audit Council must first approve the tender result. Then the contract needs to be signed, with the submission of a letter of guarantee from Lamda amounting to 30 million euros. Also, the town and zoning plan must be completed, the Council of State needs to issue a favorable opinion on the development plan, and a series of other conditions have to be fulfilled before any work commences.

TAIPED’s executive director, Andreas Taprantzis, said that this process is expected to take one or two years. Once the deal is completed, Lamda will pay the first tranche of the 915-million-euro bid – i.e. some 300 million euros or 33 percent. In present value, the Lamda bid amounts to 577-704 million euros, depending on the percentage of the advance payment. The assessment of an independent counselor as to the present value amounted to 560 million euros.

TAIPED said Lamda’s proposal provides for the creation of a casino, but the state does not have to concede its operating license to the investor, as the licensing process would include a separate tender.