Developer spots city potential

Greek property developer Oliaros plans to plow 100 million euros into the center of Athens over the next five years in a move it says will help upgrade the districts of Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio. Backed by institutional funds led by Bank of Cyprus, Oliaros is targeting an area delineated by Pireos Street, Iera Odos and Constantinopoleos Avenue that has fallen out of favor with many Greeks due to rising crime levels and the proliferation of brothels. «There are many properties in the area. We see them as an opportunity,» Iasson Tsakonas, managing director at Oliaros, told journalists yesterday. «The area has gone through a phase where it lost its value.» According to the company, which will bring together architects from countries as far away as Japan and Denmark for the project, 46 percent of the real estate available in the area comprises property lots and empty residential housing that are about to collapse or are no longer in use. The plan will initially start with the upgrade of four buildings over the next 12 months, with the company banking on people opting to live near several metro stations, theaters, galleries and a large number of restaurants and cafes. Once completed, 43 percent of the total project will concern residential housing and 19 percent will go toward open spaces.