Proposals due for Olympic site within 2 months

In recent years increasing pressure has been brought to bear to divide up the site. The greatest loss has been the conditional commercial exploitation of the Olympic Badminton Stadium, a total area of about 2.5 hectares. According to Environment and Public Works Ministry sources, behind the Culture and Defense ministries’ memorandum is an attempt to link part of the former army camp and the badminton venue with commercial ventures. Polyzos, whose group proposed a unified site of 450 hectares, believes that hopes for a metropolitan park are fading. «The memorandum indicates that Olympic Properties SA is to be the linchpin in the development of the most important part of the park, which will be transformed into a multi-use site. At the same time, the army is entering the game of commercial exploitation of the site. In other words, Olympic Properties is looking at more than the 2.5 hectares of the Badminton Stadium, with the active support of the Defense Ministry,» said Polyzos. The situation should become clearer by February 1 when, according to the the contract, Olympic Properties will present specific proposals for the use of the site. What remains to be seen is whether new buildings will go up, if the National Sculpture Museum will stay and what use the existing buildings will be put to, and under what conditions. Another major issue is whether the park will be on both sides of Katehaki Avenue, or whether the Papagou side will be lost, and whether natural green areas will be preferred to constructed «landscaping.»