BUSINESS

Historic Merlin Estate on Corfu up for grabs

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property

Alpha and Piraeus Bank are in advanced talks with investors interested in the Merlin Estate on the Ionian island of Corfu, which, given its history, is one of the most emblematic properties in their portfolios.

The Merlin Estate is a 600,000-square meter seaside plot at Dassia that has belonged to the two banks since 2008, following a debt settlement agreement with APE Fixed Assets SA and the AEGEK construction company.

It holds major potential for tourism utilization. The actuarial value of the property, which is 72.2 percent owned by Alpha and the rest by Piraeus, is estimated at 40 million euros. However, the final price may be much higher given the added value tourism can bring to it. The investor who finally obtains the property will likely be able to reap major capital gains from it in the future if it is taken in the direction of tourism development.

The Merlin Estate is some 11 kilometers from Corfu Town and is one of the island’s most historic properties: In 1925 the British botanist Lord Sidney Merlin introduced the Washington Navel orange to his estate – still known as the Merlin in Greece today – as well as bringing kumquats to the island from Japan. Washed by the sea and split by a small river, the property also includes the abandoned house of Lord Merlin.

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