ECONOMY

Greek developer Lamda lands strong interest to build Athens towers, says official

greek-developer-lamda-lands-strong-interest-to-build-athens-towers-says-official

Lamda has received strong interest from overseas and Greek developers to jointly build two seaside skyscrapers in Athens as part of a delayed 8 billion euro ($9.7 billion) project, an official said on Tuesday.

Lamda plans to build shopping malls and hotels under a long-term lease of the 1,500-acre Hellenikon airport site, where disused runways, terminals and former Olympic venues have been abandoned for almost two decades.

The Greek company has also been looking for partners for the construction of two landmark towers of offices and residences.

And in a sign of progress, more than a dozen investors submitted non-binding offers last week, the official close to the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity, without naming the potential partners.

The government hopes the project, which was first outlined in 2013, will create about 10,000 jobs during construction and attract thousands of tourists in a country badly hurt by a decade-long financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

After years of delays due to red tape, political resistance and local opposition, demolition crews began last summer tearing down the first of hundreds of blocks that need to be removed.

Athens last year picked a consortium led by US casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment as the preferred bidder to build and operate a luxury resort for 30 years.

Lamda has also set up a joint venture to build two hotels in Helleniko and has said it aims to start infrastructure at the site in the first half of 2021.

However, authorities still need to clear the way, including transferring ownership rights for part of the property to Lamda.

Concluding the deal is also part of reforms Greece needs to wrap up under an agreement with its lenders from the European Union after it exited its most recent bailout in 2018.

[Reuters]