The city of Athens has unveiled an ambitious 700 million euro plan to transform the Eleonas area in the inner west in what could be a major transformation for the Greek capital.
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The plan involves the construction of a new 40,000 seat stadium for Panathinaikos (PAO) football club and facilities for sports, such as basketball and volleyball, located next to an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
At the same time, investments involving the building of a new shopping mall and the repurposing of old factories into warehouse and office space are also on the cards. Some of the country's largest real estate players, such as developers Dimand and Premia Properties, are executing parts of the broader project.
The multi step plan also includes the demolition of the current home of Panathinaikos football club on Alexandras Avenue and turning the space into a green area, in one of the city’s most densely populated areas.
It remains to be seen whether the new plans will clear all the necessary legal hurdles as the project may stumble on opposition from different groups, such as local residents.
If it does go ahead, however, it could transform these areas that are located just a few kilometers from central Athens, reshaping the capital’s real estate map.
Eleonas (or Elaionas) is an industrial area that leads to the western suburbs and homes in the district are among the cheapest in Athens.
After delays of ten years, the plans are in place, according to Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis, who said that the agreement has all parties on board.
“This is a major work of urban transformation, the biggest change in the urban fabric of Athens in recent years, a short distance from the historic center,” he said, describing it as a “a very complicated and difficult project.”
In order to make room for the new facilities, the refugee camp and intercity bus station (KTEL) will be removed from the area, taken elsewhere, officials said.
One of the signs pointing to successful execution is that funding has been secured for key parts of the project. For the stadium, sports facilities and public areas, 140 million euros has been secured from the EU’s Recovery Fund, with an additional 115 million euros coming from the country’s public investment program.
Based on the timeline presented by the mayor, it will take until October next year for the necessary studies to be completed, along with the building permits to be issued, paving the paving the way for construction work to commence.