The company spearheading a multi-billion dollar development at the old Hellenikon Athens Airport said that the entire project was at risk, citing new restrictions placed on the land by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
Greek property developer Lamda, backed by Chinese and Gulf funds, submitted an 8 billion euro ($9.3 billion)proposal to the Greek government in July to convert 620 hectares of wasteland at the former Athens International Airport into a complex of luxury residences, hotels, a yachting marina and casinos.
The group signed a 99-year lease with the government of Alexis Tsipras, despite making his opposition to the privatization project one of his landmark campaign promises.
The project has been plagued with delays, even before the first shovel has gone into the ground.
The latest setback was a decision by Greece’s culture ministry to declare a new archaeological area over parts of the airport compound and impose other restrictions on building and construction work.
Lamda said in a statement in Friday that the move was an “unexpected change in the contractual agreed terms.”
“It is obvious that the investment cannot be materialized as long as continuous setbacks and new obstacles lead to amendments in the development plan in various ways that are not provisioned in the contract,” it said in a statement.
The Culture Ministry’s latest decision means about 74 acres of the area has been declared of archaeological importance. The ministry also told Lamda to review the height of some of the planned buildings.
Lamda said that would have a material impact on its plans as tall buildings were landmark features of the project.
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