Greece approves Chinese-backed project to develop Hellinikon site

Helliniko Airport - The consortium, led by Athens-based Lamda Development, wan an appeal against the Forestry director's decision-via Naftemporiki

The Guardian — Construction work on a 7bn euro  project to develop the site of Athens’s former airport will begin in six months, the Greek government has said.

State minister Alekos Flabouraris said on Friday that the Greek privatisation agency had given the go-ahead to a consortium of Abu Dhabi and Chinese investors backed by the Chinese conglomerate Fosun, which owns 12% of the British holiday company Thomas Cook, to turn the site into a major resort.

It had been earmarked as a metropolitan park but was largely abandoned for the past decade. Now the consortium plans to build a 200-hectare park along with apartments, hotels and shopping malls at the site, which also includes some venues from the 2004 Olympics.

The consortium will pay €915m to lease the site. It had hoped to start work by June but the project has been delayed because of various bureaucratic hurdles from the Greek forestry and archaeological agencies.