The investment barrage in the tourist market of Athens brings tectonic changes in the image and the character of the historical center of the capital. Domestic and foreign funds continue to invest millions of euros in the transformation of emblematic buildings and office space into luxury accommodation units at key points, betting on the city’s enormous potential as a city break destination which is expected to be further strengthened after the end of the year.

According to data collected by newspaper «NEA», at the moment there are more than fifteen hotels under development in central areas of Athens, many of which are expected to receive their first visitors in the near future. It should be noted that most of the funds to be invested are of Israeli origin, while the presence of Chinese but also domestic real estate investors is remarkable.

Indicatively, the consortium of Dimand and Prodea Investments with the help of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are turning the Saroglio Megaron oat 65 Stadiou Street into a luxury hotel, under the international brand of Moxy (Marriott group). This is an 8-storey building in Omonia with an area of ​​11,300 sq.m., which was leased by the consortium for 25 years (with the right to extend this for 25 years) from the Army Share Fund and the Armed Forces Officers Club.

The investment is estimated at about 20 million euros, with a time horizon of completion byt the end of 2021. The new hotel will have 200 rooms. Fattal Hotels is proceeding with the radical renovation of the former Esperia Hotel at 22 Stadiou Street, intending to create a 5-star unit under the name NYX Athens. The company, of Israeli interests, will spend more than 10 million euros while the start is set from the new year.

Within 2021, it is estimated that Intrakat will complete the creation of a five-star 45-room hotel, named «Xenodocheio Milos» in a 3-storey listed building at 3-5 Kolokotroni Street in Athens. Intrakat leased the property from the Army Share Fund after a relevant tender in 2017, while the cost of the investment is expected to reach 7 million euros.

Conversely, time is running out for the opening of the historic La Mirage Hotel in Omonia by the Israeli interest hotel company Brown Hotels. The firm has also invested in the Brown Acropol and DAVE Red Athens hotels in the Omonia area.

The opening of the new boutique hotel «82 Evripidou Hotel» in the center of Athens is expected in 2021. It will offer 63 rooms. The investors are the Israeli companies Ficus Investments and Brown Hotels. This encompasses the reconstruction of two 5-storey tangential buildings (with the Manousaki Gallery) at 82 Evripidou Street.

A new 4-star hotel in the area of ​​Omonia is being prepared by a company of Chinese interests. This is the Omega Hotel, which will operate in an old office building, at the junction of 10 Piraeus and Zenonos streets. The tourist accommodation will have 50 rooms and suites, Asian cuisine restaurant, rooftop bar overlooking the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill, a lobby bar which will serve tables on Zenonos pedestrian walkwat, etc.

Luxurious suites (35) overlooking the Acropolis are being designed by Cassalta on Syggrou Street. The company is owned by Israeli interests and is said to already have in its portfolio, independent buildings suitable for Luxury suites at Deligeorgi 7 in Omonia Square (1,200 sq.m.) and at 23-25 ​​Agisilaou Street in the Kerameikosdistrict (2,500 sq.m.).

The prospects

The investment momentum that is developing is expected to positively affect the real estate market of the wider area, which after a long period of partial devaluation is acquiring new breath and perspective.

In fact, real estate pundits predict a general increase in values ​​in the entire Municipality of Athens, which for a long time – with few exceptions – had suffered a sharp decline. The president of the Panhellenic E-Real Estates Network, Themistoklis Bakas, considers that it is a matter of time before the center of the capital evolves into a destination of international standards due to the important moves made by various funds and the imminent utilization of many buildings that will remain empty within the framework of the government plan to transfer nine ministries to the facilities of the former PYRKAL in Ymittos.

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