Media: Hellenikon By the Sea now rising from rubble of abandoned airport

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Media: Hellenikon By the Sea now rising from rubble of abandoned airportThe site was destined to be only a park and would have been the largest urban green space in Europe before Greece’s economic and austerity crisis from 2010-18 turned the scheme toward commercial use to make money

Some 25 years after it was closed to make way for a replacement on a highway 20 miles northeast of the capital, the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport on Athens’ coast in 2026 is due to finish the first phase of construction.
It’s an 8-billion euro ($8.73 billion) ambitious plan to turn what’s now rubble on a plot twice the size of New York City Central Park into a mix of luxury high-rise condos, a luxury mall, a luxury marina for yachts, a casino, office and commercial space, and a park.

The site was destined to be only a park and would have been the largest urban green space in Europe before Greece’s economic and austerity crisis from 2010-18 turned the scheme toward commercial use to make money.
Greece’s Lamba development company bought out two foreign partners and was able to restart the project after it was blocked in 20151- during the reign of the then then-ruling anti-business, anti-foreign investor Radical Left SYRIZA.

Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with a banker’s background, moved to restart it after being elected in 2019 and SYRIZA, as he did again now in the 2023 elections, and is pushing the development.

In a feature, the Bloomberg financial news agency said that within three years from now – while the Eero Saarinen-designed East Terminal will remain in place, abandoned hangars and runways will be replaced by a smart city.

Within three years, the 650-acre site along the southeast coast of Athens will feature around 10,000 upmarket beachfront homes and apartments, a Mandarin Oriental hotel, one of Southern Europe’s largest malls, a marina for mega-yachts, a Hard Rock-branded casino, a state-of-the-art sports complex, a private school, cultural and entertainment centers, a sprawling beach and a 21,527,580 square foot park overlooking the Saronic Gulf.

“This privately-funded project, called the Ellinikon, will, in short, transform the Greek capital,” said the site, noting that at its inaugural in October 2022, Mitsotakis said it’s “the prologue to a new era for the coast.”

It’s expected to generate more than 14 billion ($15.2 billion) in tax revenue during its 25-year development lifecycle and be the end piece of a three-piece link of development along the coast.

That will stretch from the port of Piraeus some 9.5 miles north, being renovated by the Chinese management firm COSCO to Hellenikon, with the $861 million Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation Center in the middle.

It gives Athens, one of the few major European cities without a river – an ancient river was filled in for development to make money long spent – one of the most impressive stretches of attractions on the continent.

The site noted that many major construction projects in the world are being delayed because of rising costs, interest rates, and labor shortages but that Hellenikon is going ahead, already bringing excitement to the city.


“With the country still getting back on its feet after a decade-long debt crisis, the Ellinikon is being stood up as a symbol of Athens’ revival,” said Bloomberg, the grimy concrete capital nevertheless having a buzz with its tavernas, cafes, and bars, young people congregating, funky neighborhoods and new hotels popping up.

It’s a far cry from the 2010-18 economic and austerity crisis that was a near-depression and turned the city into a pool of misery for many, with record unemployment, construction essentially halted, and gloom everywhere.

Mitsotakis has been a key, his government luring foreign investors as well and spurring a recovery after lifting COVID-19 health measures in 2022 that saw a resurge in tourists who are the country’s biggest revenue engine.

Hellenikon, when done, will be another major attraction although it’s not been said how it will handle traffic along a seacoast road already notorious for major backups, but there’s a subway stop and tram line nearby.

“This energy is felt on the streets. Athens cafes and tavernas buzz every night of the week, and tourists mill around squares where rioters once clashed with police,” the site said, and luxury hotels compete for affluent travelers.

Lamda began selling residential properties in the 656-foot Riviera Tower – soon to be the country’s tallest building — with an average price of €14,000 ($15,277) a square meter (10.7 square feet.)

So far, all 170 units in the tower have been sold, with the vast majority going to Greek residents and members of the Greek Diaspora with sales and leases already hitting €1.2 billion ($1.31 billion) but driving up prices in abutting areas.

Constantinos Zouzoulas, Managing Director of Axia Ventures Group Ltd, the investment banking group that focuses on Cyprus, Greece and Italy, expects that the Ellinikon will help extend the tourism season Greece wants to be year-round.

“Our conservative estimates are that the Ellinikon will add 2.5 percent to Greek GDP through completion and attract 1.5 million tourists” a year, Lamda CEO Odisseas Athanasiou told Bloomberg in an interview.

The Ellinikon is a “landmark project that will be a game changer for Athens, its greater Attica region, and Greece as a whole,” said Zouzoulas, adding that this city-within-a-city will also attract new residents to the area.

It is 6.8 miles from the city center, reachable by subway and tram, and bus, and will feature walking and bicycling areas and paths although it’s been said if the whole waterfront area will be available to the public, the country allows private developers everywhere to seize them for profit.

The park, in particular, “is a much-needed proposition in a city that lacks green space,” Zouzoulas said, Athens was dominated by ugly concrete buildings from a post-WWII rush to create residences.

He said that it will be integrated into Athens if infrastructure obstacles can be overcome and that The Ellenikon as it will be called “will further improve the urban landscape and the lifestyle of citizens.”


RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt


  1. 01/12 21:58

    Greek PM to Bloomberg: I want to preserve the good relations with the UK

  2. 01/12 19:55

    Greece re-elected to the top of International Maritime Organization's Council Category A

  3. 01/12 16:47

    High maximum temperatures in Greece during November

  4. 01/12 15:51

    Festive Christmas tree lighting in Astoria’s Athens Square Park of New York

  5. 01/12 14:38

    British Museum head says talks about a deal on Parthenon Sculptures continue

  6. 01/12 01:42

    Volos and Mount Pelion ready to receive winter tourists in Central Greece

  7. 30/11 22:50

    Google event: Greece aims to become an international hub for AI's code of ethics

  8. 30/11 18:34

    Greek police carry out intensive checks for offences including traffic violations

  9. 30/11 17:42

    Prime Minister announces Greeks abroad can vote by mail in Greek elections

  10. 30/11 01:54

    US Ambassador to Athens: Greece is a rising energy provider in SE Europe

  11. 29/11 19:47

    Greek deputy migration minister meets with visiting China counterpart in Athens

  12. 29/11 18:40

    OECD survey: Greek economy to grow by 2.4% this year and 2.0% during 2025

  13. 29/11 18:29

    HALC launches petition for return of Stolen Parthenon Marbles to Athens

  14. 29/11 12:24

    Minister: Request for Parthenon Marbles arises from law, history, global cultural values

  15. 29/11 11:43

    Kalymnian Society ‘Prodromos’ of Campbell in Ohio marks its 100th anniversary

  16. 28/11 16:06

    Greek PM's greeting on Seferis Office and Roderick Beaton Reading Room event in London

  17. 28/11 11:58

    Christmas holidays opening hours of Athens stores announced

  18. 28/11 09:02

    British government spokesperson assures the UK-Greece relationship is hugely important

  19. 28/11 08:16

    Greek Deputy FinMin: Government trying to close VAT gap with European average

  20. 28/11 07:10

    Unboxing Callas exhibition opens to the public through January 10

  21. 27/11 18:30

    UN World Tourism Organization endorses growing presence on the ground

  22. 27/11 14:51

    Greek merchant shipping fleet rose in numbers during September

  23. 27/11 14:44

    Teatro Grattacielo & Thessaloniki Concert Hall hold La Vestale for Callas Centenary

  24. 27/11 13:33

    Greek budget recorded a primary surplus of 6.08 billion euros in January-October

  25. 27/11 10:29

    Greek PM meeting with investors in London

  26. 27/11 08:55

    Top livestock facilities and animals to be provided to Greece's Thessaly farmers for free

  27. 26/11 12:58

    NBG: Fires, floods, disasters, inflation, costs cutting into Greece’s tourism sector

  28. 26/11 11:05

    Greek PM to BBC: Parthenon Sculptures case is like cutting up ‘Mona Lisa’

  29. 26/11 10:52

    Transport Minister: Thessaloniki Metro project will be fully operational by end 2024

  30. 26/11 09:02

    Boat schedules cancelled due to high winds on Sunday

  31. 26/11 07:08

    Greek government spox: 71% of freelancers declare lower income than minimum wage

  32. 25/11 14:08

    Chinese, Turks and Russians top Greece Golden Visa list getting passports

  33. 25/11 14:05

    Greece-Turkey High-level Cooperation Council 'one more step' in improving relations

  34. 25/11 13:54

    Weather service upgrades warning for 'Bettina' front in Greece

  35. 25/11 10:01

    Event in Chicago about Greek bureaucracy and Greek-American matters

  36. 24/11 14:40

    10th International Summer University Greek Language, Culture, and Mass Media in Boston

  37. 24/11 14:11

    European Union Commission offers €43.1 million in support for Greek farmers

  38. 24/11 12:48

    IPTO has secured enough power to boost launching offshore wind parks in Greece

  39. 24/11 11:43

    Land-use and Green Fund bill passes in Greek Parliament with ruling party votes

  40. 24/11 10:32

    Prime Minister: Port infrastructure in Greece undergoing major revamp

  41. 24/11 07:36

    Energy Minister: Greece could become global protagonist in offshore park industry

  42. 23/11 21:31

    Apartment prices rise 11.9% in Greece during Q3

  43. 23/11 21:09

    Athens Christmas tree lighting ceremony organized on Thursday

  44. 23/11 20:28

    Greek Foreign Minister meets with visiting Indonesian Vice President in Athens

  45. 23/11 15:11

    World-class distinctions bring Athina Luxury Suites at the top once again

  46. 23/11 11:15

    14th Ethnofest - Athens Ethnographic Film Festival opens on November 29

  47. 22/11 16:03

    Greek Cultural Center in Astoria of NYC will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary

  48. 22/11 13:07

    Greek state borrowing program from markets amounts to €9 billion during 2024

  49. 22/11 11:17

    International conference on social dialogue and inequalities in Athens on November 23-24

  50. 22/11 09:59

    Travel receipts rose by 15.2% to 18 billion euros in Greece during January-September

  51. 21/11 14:59

    Minister: Greece and India relations upgraded with the memorandum of cooperation

  52. 21/11 14:08

    National Economy and Finance Minister: Greek economy will rise even higher in 2024

  53. 21/11 13:19

    Greek Foreign Minister travels to Madrid for Euro-Med Group Med-9

  54. 20/11 22:59

    Transport Minister: Greece's entire railway network fully restored by 2025

  55. 20/11 21:39

    Greek airports see record hike in passenger traffic during January-October 2023

  56. 20/11 21:24

    AHEPA Supreme President visits New Haven Chapter 98 and presents Heroes Medals

  57. 20/11 19:13

    Embassy: Energy is the principal pillar of the US-Greece strategic relationship

  58. 20/11 16:10

    Tilda Swinton-Olivier Saillard show 'Embodying Pasolini' at Onassis Stegi in Athens

  59. 20/11 09:03

    Media guide: Get to know Greece’s diverse wines

  60. 19/11 14:29

    Archdiocesan Cathedral Philoptochos organizes the Chrysanthemum Ball in NYC

  61. 19/11 13:21

    Economic good news from EC dominates Greek PM's review of the past week

  62. 19/11 11:24

    Greek Consulate General & Teatro Grattacielo presented Callas tribute in New York

  63. 19/11 09:16

    Media report: Revealing the rich tapestry of Greek wines

  64. 18/11 16:12

    World Tourism Organization launches San Marino action for accessible tourism

  65. 18/11 16:11

    Telefonica and UNWTO to boost digital, sustainable and inclusive tourism

  66. 18/11 14:27

    Greek budget recorded primary surplus of 5.8 billion euros in January-October

  67. 18/11 14:04

    HFSF successfully concludes public offer of 22% of National Bank's share capital

  68. 18/11 13:46

    Ships docked in Greece on Saturday due to strong winds

  69. 18/11 12:59

    Greek PM visits supermarket and is briefed on 'permanent price reduction' initiative

  70. 18/11 10:50

    Event in Seoul marks 70th anniversary of Greece's participation in the Korean War

  71. 17/11 16:04

    UNWTO workshop promotes modern tourism communications for Africa

  72. 17/11 13:20

    Hellenic Professional Women organized Health and Wellness Event in New York

  73. 17/11 11:28

    FAITH Endowment offers 168 scholarships to top Greek American University Students

  74. 17/11 09:37

    Cyprus’ untapped business potential highlighted at event in New York City

  75. 16/11 18:57

    Toronto celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of its Theological Academy

  76. 16/11 17:09

    Greek FinMin presents 352-million-euro support package for 2.3 million citizens

  77. 16/11 15:00

    Gale force winds and temperature drop in Greece this weekend

  78. 16/11 14:04

    Prime Minister forecasts Gaza conflict will not greatly impact Greek tourism sector

  79. 16/11 13:53

    Changes in public transport of Athens on Friday

  80. 16/11 10:43

    Front Runners in Sports Management 5.0 comes with world-class sports names on December 7-9, 2023

  81. 15/11 20:02

    Saint Demetrios Cathedral of Astoria marks 96th Annual Gala in New York

  82. 15/11 19:06

    Greek budget recorded primary surplus of 6.084 billion euros in January-October

  83. 15/11 18:57

    Study in Greece conference: Higher education 'at crossroads of transformative journey'

  84. 15/11 11:14

    Energy Minister announces new measures to protect electricity consumers in Greece

  85. 14/11 20:58

    Greece to reopen 10-year bond issue for 200 million euros on Wednesday

  86. 14/11 19:46

    Road traffic restrictions to come into effect in downtown on Wednesday

  87. 14/11 18:54

    Council of Bars & Law Societies of Europe to organize two-day conference in Athens

  88. 14/11 16:40

    PM: New record in tourist arrivals this year, with German visitors preferring Greece

  89. 13/11 22:01

    Greece and Turkey agree to implement or reactivate CBM activity in 2024

  90. 13/11 18:07

    Greek Infrastructure & Transport Minister attends 2023 IBTTA Tolling Summit in Athens

  91. 13/11 10:46

    GNTO's General Secretary: Greek tourism season's extension strategy is bearing fruit

  92. 11/11 23:57

    UNWTO marks Qatar Tourism Awards to recognize excellence in sector

  93. 11/11 21:37

    25th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum on December 11 in NYC

  94. 11/11 15:40

    Greek PM: Government will use all available tools to keep food prices down

  95. 11/11 14:33

    Over 500,000 smart electricity meters installed in Greece by end of 2023

  96. 11/11 10:22

    7th Thessaloniki Summit to take place on November 20-21

  97. 11/11 00:04

    Tourism significance for growth highlighted in World Economic Outlook report

  98. 10/11 23:44

    Hellenic Post Chief: New business plan fully underway and progressing rapidly

  99. 09/11 22:26

    Greek Tourism Minister meets with Monica Bellucci in Thessaloniki

  100. 09/11 21:16

    E-Governance Minister: Greek state services to be fully digitized by 2027