Do you recall the recent years when Greece was considered the black sheep of Europe? The time Greece flirted with Grexit and its best minds fled the country? Well, all this is in the past. In the last 4-5 years the country has been in the midst of an unprecedented construction boom; small and large projects, public and private, are literally transforming the face of Greece to such an extent that if someone had left 15 years ago, it would be hard to recognise several of its parts.
A key development drive for the country is the “Greece 2.0” plan, the government’s reform plan funded by the RRF, aimed to wrap up by 2026. Greece’s part is set to €31 billion, the largest amount secured by an EU country in relation to its GDP. This amount will change the face of the country, with an emphasis on green growth, digital transition, competitiveness of the economy and, of course, infrastructure. Grants amounting to €7.96 billion will be directed to projects directly related to Construction, mobilising total resources of €13.3 billion, together with the relevant leverage.
The country’s new face is not only found in its popular tourist destinations or in its modern airports. A construction “big bang” is taking place mainly in Greece’s capital: Athens is developing into a pole of attraction for large investments with its main driver being its coastal front: the Athenian Riviera stretches for a length of 70 kilometers, from Faliro to Sounio and several players, domestic and foreigners wish to be placed either in hotel investments, in luxury tourist infrastructures, or of course in luxury housing markets. Athens’ seafront is rapidly changing with investments in the tens of billions, creating a high-quality destination that puts the city on the map of luxury destinations, next to Barcelona, Madrid, Rome or even Paris. The purchasing interest of investors does not focus only on the natural beauty or the climate of the country; it mainly concerns margins of significant returns and capital gains that a future sale of these properties hides, for those who treat this type of real estate as an investment product.
The country’s greatest urban regeneration project is of course Ellinikon, poised to become a new modern landmark in Greece’s capital city. The project is located in the old Athens airport area, part of an extensive development of around 6,2km2. Developed by Lamda Development, it is considered the biggest greenfield urban infrastructure investment in Europe, the largest privately-funded investment to be carried out in Greece, budgeted at around €8 billion and set to create more than 75,000 jobs. When completed, it will seem as a “city within a city”, home to hotels, shopping arcades, schools, healthcare centers, office space, sports facilities, a massive, two-milliopn square-meter outdoor space known as Ellinikon Park , and an estimated 10,000 residential units. Five high-rise buildings are planned, with the luxurious Riviera Tower set to rise 200 meters above sea level. Designed by Foster+Partners as architects, it will be the tallest building in Greece and the tallest green beachfront high-rise building in the Mediterranean. The Project will consist of a high-end residential tower of 50 floors, comprising of 169 residential units reaching 204.2m high (from sea level).
A consortium of “Bouygues Batiment International”, a French construction company that has been specialising in complex building projects for almost 50 years, and “INTRAKAT”, a construction company (one of Greece’s biggest groups with presence in SE Europe), involved in large scale construction projects, including civil engineering, infrastructure, telecom networks, renewable energy, environmental and real estate development projects, has been selected as a consultant for Riviera Tower. As the company’s Vice President and CEO Alexandros Eksarchou puts it,“the challenge for big construction companies is not only to undertake new projects, but to enter into a new era with state-of-the-art technology and environmental friendly construction materials”. The collaboration started in July 2021, with the digital presentation of the project, following the commissioning of early works by Lamda Development. Discussions are currently underway for the co-formation of the final construction studies and execution.