High expectations for the Delta
In symbolic terms, the biggest gamble concerns the future of the seafront, the stretch of it that runs from the Peace and Friendship Stadium to Aghios Cosmas, which was only gained in theory for the Olympic Games. First there was an announcement by the deputy culture minister of the time, Petros Tatoulis, that the new National Opera building would be sited on the Faliron Delta. Then Olympic Properties had hopes of transforming the beach volleyball venue at Delta into a «Lycabettus by the sea.» In his first public speech in his new capacity as vice president of the opera’s board of directors, former Federation of Greek Industries president Odysseas Kyriakopoulos expressed high hopes for the new opera building. Though the issue of the site has not been officially finalized, the new board seems to be working in that direction already, organizing an international architectural tender that will attract big names to Athens. «The terms of the tender have already been set, «said Kyriakopoulos, «and the papers have been submitted.» The beach volleyball venue is moving faster. Several Greek consortiums (Village Roadshow Operations Hellas, Everest SA, ATESE SA, GEK SA J&P Abax-Vioter SA) and two French consortiums (Altarea and SEPI SA) are participating in the first stage of the tender for long-term lease of the venue. Despite its favorable location, the open-air beach volleyball venue is problematic as it can only be used in summer, but the response was a boost for the government.