The Greek Parliament ratified a contract transferring partial ownership of the Hellinikon former airport site to Greek developer Lamda Development by a comfortable majority on Wednesday.
The move, approved by all main parties, brings one of the country’s most ambitious urban redevelopment plans another step closer to finally being realized.
The contract was backed by all ruling New Democracy MPs, as well as main opposition SYRIZA and the Movement for Change (KINAL). Votes against the contract were cast by the KKE, Elliniki Lysi and MeRA25.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the voting of the law ratifying the contract was a decisive step forward in implementing a flagship investment for the country, its society and the economy.
The 1,500-acre Hellenikon Airport site along the Athens riviera, which sat abandoned for almost two decades, will eventually house shopping malls, hotels and residences under a 99-year lease with the state.
Hellinikon expected to create 75,000 jobs
“There will be a metropolitan pole of global appeal which … will showcase Athens as a tourist destination, a business hub and a spot of recreation in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region,” Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.
The project is expected to create 75,000 jobs and bring about 14 billion euros to state coffers over 25 years of construction, he said.
A consortium led by U.S. casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment plans to build and operate a luxury resort for 30 years on the site. That contract also needs Parliament’s clearance.
Once the company is given final approval, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment plans to begin construction immediately on its 8.9-million-euro ($1 billion) integrated resort casino.
The striking design for the building was created by Steelman Partners, an international architectural firm specializing in IRC design and development.
The concept form draws inspiration from the architectural history of Greece, particularly from Athenian sculptures and buildings, including the Acropolis and its iconic Caryatids.
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