Athens looks for adviser to manage 1.5 bln euros of real estate

Athens looks for adviser to better manage real estate, landmarks

The city of Athens is moving ahead with a plan to better manage hundreds of its properties, estimated to be worth more than 1.5 billion euros. The municipality is looking for an adviser on how best to make use of some 460 assets that include some of Athens best known landmarks: Technopolis at Gazi, Varvakeio food market on Athinas street, buildings in the National Gardens (located behind parliament) and the council's own offices opposite Kotzia square.

Interested parties had until January 26 to submit their interest for the contract but the deadline was pushed back on Monday to February 10. The three year contract is worth 3.8 million euros, and includes a rights option that could boost it to 7.6 million euros.

The push to better use these assets is aimed at upping revenues while also improving services offered to Athenians, say municipality officials.

With Greece's real estate market recovering from a nine year slump , the Athens municipality has been picking up efforts to develop properties it owns or improve real estate located on its patch.

One such example is the Kypseli municipal market that is owned by the council.

Built in 1935, the market was close to demolition on several occasions and had also been, at times, taken over by different leftist groups and squatters. Via synAthina, a platform that brings together citizen's groups, the municipality renovated the market last year and leased it to eight businesses with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship.

The council is doing the same thing for another three to four buildings.

There is also a renewed effort to create fresh legislation that will allow for the restoration of some 1,800 abandoned buildings that are privately owned in the center of the Greek capital.

After plans for this type of initiative had been shelved amidst Greece's economic crisis, talks are resuming on how to restore the forgotten buildings, some of which are crumbling and posing a safety threat to pedestrians.

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