Friday, 5 August 2016

Resort plan for old Athens airport

AN ABANDONED airport complex in #Athens that currently houses a migrant camp is to be transformed into a coastal resort if a Greek development company get its way, the Daily Telegraph reports. 

Hellenikon – once the only airport in Athens – was closed to make way for a modern hub ahead of the 2004 Olympics in the city. Some 3,000 migrants are now living on the coastal site.

Leisure company Lamda Development has a plan to turn the crumbling wasteland into a glitzy seaside town of hotels, houses, shops, and a 495-acre park.

‘This project is a game-changer,’ Odisseas Athanassiou, Lamda’s chief executive, told Reuters. ‘It is going to change the psychology of foreign capital toward investment in #Greece.’

Backed by Chinese conglomerate Fosun, an Abu Dhabi-based company, and other prospective investors, Lamda intends to spend about €1.5billion on roads and other infrastructure, with a further €5.5billion earmarked for 8,000 homes, hotels, shops and a 494-acre park. Mr Athanassiou hopes that construction will start at the site in the first half of next year, with many of the buildings ready for 2020.

The Greek government is planning to move the 3,000 migrants and refugees who have fled war and poverty in the Middle East and Asia to other sites in the country.

The country’s tourism industry has shown resilience despite a continuing migrant crisis, a beleaguered economy, and political instability. A record 23.5million holidaymakers visited Greece in 2015.

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