First Part of the World’s Largest Coastal Park Opens in Athens

The largest seaside park in the world has opened its first section of greenery and entertainment area at The Hellinikon on Athens Riviera, for locals and international visitors to enjoy just in time for Christmas.

Named “Experience Park” it forms part of the Metropolitan Park being developed on the site of the former international airport at Hellinikon, as one of the biggest urban redevelopment projects in Europe and is set to turn into one of the largest parks in the entire world.

Insights Greece - First Part of the World’s Largest Coastal Park Opens in Athens
“Experience Park” at Athens Riviera

The park covers an area of seven hectares including a water maze, a forest playground, a Zen garden with many water features and an outdoor fitness area with free-to-use outdoor equipment.

Hellinikon officials say, “This will be more than a green oasis. It will be one of the largest coastal parks in the world — and an ambitious rival to the great urban parks of New York and London. Open to all, The Hellinikon Park will be a platform for cultural events, sports and recreation, public health and personal wellbeing.”

“Experience Park” was completed six months ahead of schedule and according to Lamda Development, who is overseeing the entire project, 500 trees and over 55,000 varieties of Mediterranean flowers and bushes have already been planted, in line with a design selected for its biodiversity and positive carbon balance, as well as being symbolic of the nation’s environmental resilience in challenging times.

Stretching out into the adjoining southern Athenian neighbourhoods, The Hellinikon Park offers a network of almost 50km of paths for bicyclists and walkers that are aimed to connect classical ruins and listed buildings with elite sporting events, multi-use exhibition venues and a contemporary sculpture park.

Insights Greece - First Part of the World’s Largest Coastal Park Opens in Athens
Large play areas for children

According to officials the highlight of the path network will be the 2.6km Promenade — a broad pedestrian thoroughfare stretching from the beach to the breezy hilltops above The Hellinikon.

To kick off the holiday season, from December 20 to January 9, “Experience Park” will present a cheerful Christmas experience for visitors, with two exceptional light installations, which will be seen in Greece for the first time. “The Stalactite,” with particularly bright patterns is synchronised to music, with the signatures of artists Christopher Bauder and Boris Divider, and “Helios,” is an impressive light installation designed by the Algorithm team, which creates a landscape full of light, movement, and rhythm.

A 17-metre-tall Christmas tree has also been placed at the Park, consisting of 180 real trees. Here visitors can taste festive flavours from famous Greek chef Akis Petretzikis, Elias Skoulas, Lukumades, OPSOPHY as well as other dishes from Esteban and Falafeladiko. 

During the holidays, from December 20, 2021, to January 9, 2022, the opening hours are Monday to Sunday (including public holidays) from 5 pm to 10 pm. 

Admission to “Experience Park” is free for all guests; and is accessible from the boulevard Vouliagmenis,  close to the Hellinikon Metro station. Free parking is also provided at the Park for all visitors.

Images courtesy of Lamda Development 

40 Million Euro ‘Small Hellinikon’ Project Signed for Crete

Greek company REDS S.A. has been awarded the development of the former U.S. base in Gournes, Heraklion, Crete, for 40.2 million euros, the country’s privatizations agency announced.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) said that the sale was conducted through the process of electronic auction and that the board will soon convene to ratify the e-auction result.

Dubbed the ‘Small Ellinikon”, after the development of the former Athens international airport, the asset is considered to be a key item in the country’s privatizations agenda.

The real estate property of Gournes consists of a beachfront land plot of 345,567 sqm located 13km from the airport “Nikos Kazantzakis” and 16 km from Heraklion. During the last 20 years, land plots neighboring the property have been developed, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, the Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos, the International Exhibition and Conference Centre of Crete, etc.

The tender, which follows years of delay, comes amid an emerging investment and building boom on Crete, the Mediterranean’s fifth-largest island.

Long one of Greece’s leading tourist destinations, Crete welcomes more than 5 million visitors a year and boasts several world-class tourist attractions like the Minoan era Knossos Palace, the legendary site of King Minos, and the Minotaur. Over the last two years, foreign investors have engaged in a number of deals and resort projects on the island.

In 2020, Hines acquired five hotels on Crete and Russia-based developer Mirum began work on its long-awaited Elounda Hills resort project in the summer. U.S. investment fund Blackstone recently acquired the Elounda Blu hotel in Crete – its sixth hotel property in Greece – through its Spanish subsidiary Hotel Investment Partners.

At the same time, the Greek government is investing billions of euros to upgrade Crete’s transport and power infrastructure. Work has recently begun on a new 1.5 billion euro international airport in Kastelli — located about 20 kilometers from Gournes – and is expected to be in operation by the end of 2023.

Also, underway is a 2 billion euro highway project stretching along the north coast of Crete, said to be one of the largest public works projects in Europe.

This article was first published here. 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.

‘Hellinikon’ Luxury Apartments in Athens Riviera Are in High-Demand 

International and local buyers have set their eyes on the new luxury apartments that will be built along the Athenian Riviera, and are part of the huge “Hellinikon Project,” at Athens’ former airport.

Construction of the apartments is set to commence very soon and expected to add enormous value to Greece’s largest development project, worth upwards of €8 billion; this includes a combination of public parks, beachfront residences, high-end shopping, restaurants, cafes, and office space. 

Insights Greece - 'Hellinikon' Luxury Apartments in Athens Riviera Are in High-Demand 

As part of the Hellinikon Project, developers Lamda plan to build around 9,000 apartments in the Athens Riviera neighbourhood, with an average size of 110 square metres per unit.

Next week, Lamda Development will share its digital presentation of the architectural designs of the first building, the Marina Tower, which will become the first green tower in Greece. 

The luxury apartments will be selling from around €8,000 per sq. m and up to €26,200/sq.m., depending on what level and views the apartment offers. 

This week, Lamda announced to Greek media that there has been a huge interest from both foreign and local investors, and on July 15 they will provide data on home pre-sales.

According to the developers, due to high demand, Lamda will construct around 2,000 homes in the first five years and will also concentrate on other parts of the project including parks, office space, etc. which is estimated to be completed by 2025.