November 4, 1958

ATHENS HILTON: The construction of a Hilton Hotel in Athens is once more in the news because of reports that problems have arisen. The Hilton was to be built according to a plan providing for 300 rooms. However, in keeping with a later design, it is to have 480 rooms. The original site was 16,000 square feet, but now Mr Apostolos Pezas, acting for the Hilton Group, is trying to buy another 6,400 square feet as the huge structure to be built on the enlarged site requires a total 22,400 square feet. Pezas has bought 16,000 square feet and leased another 13,000 square feet for 40 years. The 300-room hotel was to have been built on the former site, and gardens and a park on the latter. On the basis of that plan, the hotel would cost about $5 million, of which $2.5 million would be in the form of a loan from the Economic Development Funding Organization (OXOA). The new design for a hotel of 480 rooms will cost $7.5-8 million, and Pezas is asking OXOA for an additional loan of $1 million, but he would need to be the owner of the land in question. Pezas is asking the National Defense Ministry, which owns the land, to sell it to him so that he can acquire the loan. According to sources, negotiations are proceeding satisfactorily and soon the papers will be signed so that the project can go ahead.