The Greek Parliament approved with a wide majority the deal for the sale and long-term lease of the land where the old airport of Hellenikon once operated in southern Athens.
All parties voted in favor except the Communist Party and the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.
The 7 billion euro plan will convert the derelict land into one of Europe’s biggest coastal resorts complete with shopping, retail and office centers, recreational areas, parks, marinas and beaches, as well as hotels and more than 8,000 new homes.
The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research completed a report that estimated the overall impact of the project on the battered Greek economy will be huge, contributing 2.4 per cent to GDP growth and almost 7.5 billion in tax revenues over the next 25 years.
More importantly for a nation with the highest unemployment in Europe, the project will provide 21,000 jobs.
The project will be managed by Lamda Development, a Greek company operated by the Latsis family. The investment group includes the Chinese conglomerate Fosun, Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills and the Latsis Group.
The project, one of Greece’s biggest private investments in history, was almost blocked by members of the culture ministry who wanted to designate the land as an archaeological site.
Local communities that touch the property also contributed to the legal and bureaucratic road blocks that delayed the project’s implementation over the years, citing harmful effects on the environment and other concerns.