Residents of the rundown neighborhood of Kypseli in central Athens will be getting back their central marketplace as a project by the City of Athens to restore the historic indoor Kypseli Market gets under way.
The building on central Fokionos Negri Street has been under the control of squatters from leftist groups for several years, operating illegally as an exhibition space and cultural events center.
For the residents of this rundown district, however, the market needs to return to its traditional role of housing fresh produce sellers and other businesses.
City of Athens crews took control of the building in November and have proceeded with cleaning up the premises inside and out.
Plans include the construction of a Citizens’ Advice Bureau as well as a complete revamp of the building’s exterior and interior to host cultural activities and possibly shops that will be put up for rent.
The design of the new premises is being overseen by architect Giorgos Adamopoulos, while the study for its structural renovation belongs to the City of Athens’s structural works department and is expected to be submitted for approval within the next few weeks, allowing construction to proceed.
Municipal authorities also plan to work closely with community groups that will be allowed to use the premises to stage events.
According to Deputy Mayor Andreas Varelas, the “interim” phase of the market, that is its use as a center for cultural activities, may be completed by June, while authorities will be deciding later whether to introduce commercial activities as well.