BUSINESS

Forest map snags Porto Heli project

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations, Property

Investors interested in the concession of a 627,000 square meter plot on Ververoda, near Porto Heli on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese, are waiting for the area’s forestry map to be drawn so that they know what and where they could build.

The property, which is owned and managed by state sell-off fund TAIPED, has been up for grabs since late 2015, but the fund froze the tender – without cancelling it – in May 2016 due to the pending issues related to the forestry authorities.

Market sources estimate that conditions will have matured in the next few months for a new deadline to be set for binding offers. The option of delaying the tender was chosen to avoid the problems seen in other concession projects such as in Afandou on Rhodes and in Elliniko, southern Athens.

This particularly large property near Porto Heli has a special feature: Besides being able to host a major hotel complex, it can also have an airport for private and small passenger aircraft. This was the feature that last year attracted a US investment fund which is represented in Greece by a US real estate agency. It also attracted other foreign investors who are active through realty companies, a major London-listed real estate development firm, private equity companies from the US with considerable holdings in Greece, as well as certain Greek entrepreneurs.

The draft zoning plan that investors have seen provides for a maximum construction surface of some 25,000 sq.m. The property’s development plan provides for two zones: A surface area of 427,400-sq.m. is proposed for tourism and entertainment purposes, with an accommodation complex and a nine-hole golf course, while a smaller, 200,000-sq.m. area can be used for the development of an airstrip. According to an opinion by the Civil Aviation Authority presented to TAIPED, this plot may host a “type B” airport with a runway up to 1,500 meters long and 50 meter wide, plus a small passenger terminal of 3,000 sq.m. to cater for 70-80 passengers per flight. Such an airport could serve even medium-sized aircraft such as an Airbus A318.

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