New batch of entertainment malls coming in the fast lane

The Athens entertainment scene will soon boast two new cinema complexes. Car importing and dealing firm P.I. Kontellis is diversifying into real estate in collaboration with construction company Diarhon, and has begun building a big entertainment complex next to the Ledra Marriott hotel on Syngrou Avenue; real estate development firm Dakon is projecting completion by September of its own shopping and entertainment complex, Athens City Center, next to the Ippokrateion hospital on Vassilissis Sofias Avenue. The Kontellis complex will host five Odeon cinema theaters and is estimated to attract 750,000 visitors a year. Its total area will be 17,000 sq.m, 5,000 of which will be covered by the cinemas; the facility will include catering facilities measuring a total of 1,100 sq.m. According to sources, interest has already been expressed by a group wishing to launch a restaurant chain called Far East, while an initial agreement has been reached with the Goody’s-Flocafe chain. Negotiations are reportedly under way for the roof garden with the multinational restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday. The complex, which will also host an Alpha Bank branch, a bowling center and underground parking facilities, is projected to be finished in September 2004. The Dakon facility has struck a deal with the new cinema chain CityPlaza, which will make its debut there. The chain belongs to Odeon’s former executive Giorgos Michailidis and AVP Architects’ Andreas Vourekas Petalas. Its general manager is Efthymios Gatos, former general manager of Europlex. Athens City Center will cover a total area of 35,000 sq.m. and will host 10 CityPlaza cinemas, totaling a capacity of 2,300 seats. The complex is budgeted to cost 17.6 million euros and will include a 700-car parking facility – accessible from Michalakopoulou St, a Health Fitness and Sports Club, and dancing, aerobic and swimming pool facilities. The ground floor and first two floors will be taken up by shops and catering establishments; the chains that have signed deals to set up shop include Goody’s-Flocafe, TGI Friday’s, Far East and Hooters. Meanwhile, construction of Lamda Development’s 65,000 sq.m. shopping and entertainment mall near the Media Village in Maroussi is making fast progress. Double shifts are aimed at having the project completed in time for the Olympic Games. The construction companies participating are Hellenic Technodomiki, Mochlos, Themeliodomi, Athena and Michaniki. The complex is planned to include 168 shops, including a supermarket, and 25 catering facilities. Firms that have expressed interest are Goody’s-Flocafe, TGI Friday’s, Zara, Max Mara, Nike, Marlboro Classics, Mexx, Marina Rinaldi and Guess. Real estate agents Praxis and Sotiropouloi Bros have been assigned the promotion of leases. The complex will offer 2,700 free parking spaces. Village Roadshow will, in all probability, operate the 10 cinema theaters in the mall; it will be its third investment in Greece, after the initial one in Maroussi and the one in the district of Rendi.