ECONOMY

Hundreds of properties destined for private operation

Hundreds of state properties are about to enter the portfolio of the state privatization fund (TAIPED) in the coming days, constituting the first cluster of about 1,000 real estate assets the government intends to transfer to the fund by the end of 2013.

The transfer to TAIPED has already been delayed by a few days. It was supposed to have taken place by the end of March, according to the bailout memorandum Greece signed with its international creditors.

Among the 290 properties heading for privatization or private utilization, the most prominent is the complex that includes the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus. It covers some 500,000 square meters and is destined to turn into a commercial and recreational park.

There is also a possibility it could be transformed into a new port for cruise ships unless another spot is found in Piraeus. Sources say that TAIPED might prefer the location to be used as a cruise ship docking point as that would boost the value of the property, although the final decision rests with the prime minister and the Cabinet.

The group of properties transferred to TAIPED further includes real estate assets in Attica and in many other parts of the country. Among the high-profile ones are the old royal estate at Tatoi, northern Athens, Prasonisi island near Rhodes and the ski center at Kaimaktsalan in Macedonia.

Finance Ministry officials place particular emphasis on properties used for commercial purposes (such as offices and stores) in central spots in Athens such as Syntagma, Kolonaki, Psyrri etc.

Housing developments are also set to fetch significant returns as in the cases of undeveloped plots between Galatsi and Palaio Psychico in northern Athens.

Properties in the areas of Megara, Ilion etc in western Attica will be privatized in order to be used for infrastructure projects as well as transport, construction and environmental projects.

The properties outside Attica transferred to TAIPED include a significant group of assets in the prefecture of Pella in central Macedonia (plots on Mount Voras, at Agios Athanasios and Lake Vegoritida), in seaside areas of Halkidiki (the Monodendri Azapiko estate, plots at Kalandra, Posidi etc) and at Kavala (the Nea Iraklitsa estate).

These properties are destined for tourism development in northern Greece.

Plots in the eastern Peloponnese are also included, such as those at Ermioni, near the popular resorts of Porto Heli, Hydra and Spetses, and in the west of the peninsula at Kyllini, Zacharo in Ilia prefecture and Pylos in Messinia, primarily for the development of luxury tourism accommodation in those areas.