The municipal council of Thessaloniki approved a few days ago the updated master plan of the Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH), a 300-million-euro project seen helping transform the northern Greek city.
Apart from upgrading the port, the development plan is expected to add to the local real estate market’s positive momentum in commercial and residential assets, says Hariton Triandafilidis, co-founder and CFO of Real Vaha, a real estate advisory company that specializes in hospitality projects and residential property.
"This is a game changer for Thessaloniki. We expect it to encourage surrounding building owners to repurpose their assets and open doors for real estate investors to further transform the city's landscape,” Triantafyllidis told Businessdaily.gr.
The plan has a 25 year timeline with the aim of upgrading the port and transforming it into an international freight transport hub.
More specifically, the area under management by OLTH is planned to be divided into two zones. Zone A will be on the eastern side of the port which includes the 1st, 2nd and 3rd piers with land uses related to tourism, entertainment and culture. Zone B will stretch out on the western side which includes the 4th, 5th and 6th piers and uses will relate to transport, handling, management and storage of conventional, bulk cargo and containers.
The port’s close proximity to the center of Thessaloniki is a key reason the new investments are seen having a considerable impact on the city’s property landscape, experts say. Also, the construction of a new cruise terminal is expected to strengthen the expanding hospitality sector.
Figures show that more than 10 new hotels have opened in the center of Thessaloniki so far this year.
“The addition of the new cruise port will further enhance this trend. Trends in the hospitality industry that are particularly strong in Athens are expected to appear in Thessaloniki as well,” adds Triantafyllidis.
“This will motivate hotel brands not yet operating in Thessaloniki to enter the market directly, bypassing Athens," he highlights.
One key issue, however, which remains outstanding is the Presidential Decree on the project's Strategic Environmental Impact Study.
What the project involves:
-The reconstruction of the Old Customs Station Building (now Passenger Station) with a total area of approximately 12,250 m2 to accommodate a hotel with retail stores, restaurants and offices. The restoration of the preserved buildings of the Stavlon complex, and their reuse for hosting cultural functions, research and innovation centers, office spaces and business incubators.
-The construction of a new Cruise and Coastal Passenger Terminal.
Extension of berth 26 of Pier 6 by approximately 990m to the south and extension of berth 24 of Pier 6 by approximately 800m to the south. The Pier 6 extension project also includes an extension of the land area with embankment along its entire width, along and behind the new wharf.
The construction of a new Logistics Center (Logistics warehouses) at the base of the 6th Pier with a maximum area of 60,000 m2 and parking spaces.
-The construction of new silos for grain storage in the area of the 4th Pier.
The construction of new tanks for the storage of liquid cargo in the area of the 3rd, 4th Pier and in the area of the base of the 6th Pier.
-The construction of new oil tanks in the area of the base of the 6th Jetty.
The construction of building facilities at the E/K Station that will concern the administrative and operational use of SEBO as well as at the Conventional Cargo Terminal that will concern the administrative and operational use of the Conventional Cargo Station.