ECONOMY

Piraeus still waiting to benefit from planned Olympic projects

The port of Piraeus, one of the few areas in the Attica region that have not experienced a rise in property values during the recent steep rise in the property market, is expected to receive a strong development boost as a result of the projects for the Olympic Games of 2004. One of the most important such projects which, like those elsewhere, have been subject to delays, are those of the Piraeus Port Authority, the redevelopment of the Peace and Friendship Stadium and the three marinas of Flisvos, Alimos and Zea, and the completion of the high-speed Andreas Papandreou Avenue. To these, one may add the long-mooted expansion and redevelopment of Karaiskaki stadium, announced three years ago but which still seems to be on the drawing board. The Greek Olympic Committee, which owns the stadium, has still not signed a contract with the consortium Stadka, which will construct and operate its envisaged sports and commercial facilities. The cost of the project, estimated at more than 45 million euros, will be subsidized. Despite the steadily strong demand for buildings for professional use around the port area and all along the seafront avenue, prices remain at relatively low levels, notes Ioannis Revythis, chairman of the Greek Real Estate Brokers Association. Monthly rental prices vary between 9 and 12 euros per square meter. By contrast, shop rents vary between 45 and 75 euros per square meter. Elvina Tselepi, chairwoman of Piraeus Real Estate Brokers, notes that the city has inadequate tourism infrastructure and that the planned redevelopment of the Peace and Friendship Stadium has already pushed up prices in the area.