Abandoned Athens airport to become Greece’s largest coastal resort

Travel Pulse — A Greek development company is seeking approval on a plan that would turn the former Ellinikon International Airport in Athens into one of Europe’s biggest coastal resorts.

According to Reuters, the developmental plan would cost an estimated €7 billion, and would feature Lamda Development as a co-investor. The team is looking for a 99-year lease meant to turn the run-down facility into a seaside town of hotels, residences and shops.

While recent efforts to turn the 1,530-acre area into a profitable venture have all failed, the investment team consisting of Lamda Development, Chinese conglomerate Fosun, an Abu Dhabi-based company and others is more dedicated than ever to the success of the project.

The first €1.5 billion of the estimated cost would be spent on roads and other infrastructure to make the area sustainable, and then the remaining €5.5 billion would be used to build 8,000 homes, hotels, shops and a 494-acre park.

Ellinikon International Airport shut down in 2001 as Athens prepared for the 2004 Olympic Games, and now acts as the home for more than 3,000 migrants and refugees who have fled war and poverty in the Middle East and Asia.

Officials in Greece announced that the migrants living at the old airport would be moved to other sites across the country already hosting 57,000 others by the end of July. Early plans suggest excavations on the site could begin as soon as 2017 and buildings could be completed by 2020, pending approval.

Lamda Development representatives said that they will use €300 million as a down payment on the site and another €500 million for construction work in the first two years.