The original Arsakeio hall, a landmark building on Panepistimiou Street, will be renovated through a 12-million-euro investment that aims to turn it into a cultural and gastronomy centre to promote healthy living and food.

An announcement on Tuesday pointed to the area’s refurbishment as a new lifestyle hub following the makeover of the 11,000-square-metre building complex. Work will begin in ten months and is expected to create 500 direct job openings and another 5,000 places not directly related to the project.

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The building had housed the Arsakeio school for girls and, more recently, part of the building had also included a gallery of bookstores (Stoa tou Vivliou) and a spacious cafe offering classes and lectures.

The owners of the building are Filekpedeftiki Eteria (Society for Promoting Education and Learning), the same non-profit group that manage the Arsakeio schools.

The organisation, along with Legendary Food company, announced on Tuesday that their goal was to promote the area as a top tourist destination. It is hoped to draw more than 3 million visitors per annum.