BUSINESS

Pension funds’ properties look set to fetch significant returns

ROULA SALOUROU, NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Finance, Property

Hotels and offices are at the center of the future utilization of 50 properties that belong to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) and other state entities which the Labor Ministry has selected for commercial use.

This process, which began a few months ago, is now entering its next phase, with the first three tenders for the long-term lease of landmark buildings in the center of Athens. They are the Esperia Palace hotel at 22 Stadiou Street, the former Hotel Ambassadeur at 65-67 Socratous Street, and a four-story building at 7-8 Zalocosta Street.

Sources say that the tender announcements for those assets, which are eagerly anticipated by private investors, will be made in the next few days. According to the original planning, the model chosen provides for their 99-year lease and not their sale.

More properties are set to follow, particularly those deemed suitable for office use. In this context tenders will be announced over the next few weeks for another 10-15 properties that are mostly located in the city center as well as Psyrri.

Labor Ministry data show that more than 120 applications have been submitted with utilization proposals by interested investors. According to sources, the proposals tabled include not only the creation of hotel units but also apartments for short-term rentals to be advertised on platforms such as Airbnb. This particular proposal is very interesting, especially for properties in Psyrri, though Kathimerini understands there have been reactions from some of the parties involved over such an option.

Other proposals provide for the creation of shopping centers, offices and even rooftop open-air cinemas.

The list of properties for utilization includes much sought-after assets with a high objective and commercial value, while some of them constitute landmark buildings, which is generating hope of considerable benefits for their owners – i.e. EFKA, as well as the auxiliary social security fund (ETEAEP) and the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED). Such aspirations are bolstered by the fact that hoteliers, tradesmen and well-known entrepreneurs have, according to sources, expressed an interest, along with foreign funds and international hotel chains.

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