Lamda Development CEO Odisseas Athanasiou positions himself inside The Ellinikon Experience Centre – an impressive modern structure built within the metal walls of the largest of three, listed airport hangars at the old Athens airport site in Elliniko.

He enthusiastically shares an update on The Ellinikon Project on the Athenian Riviera – the largest urban regeneration project in Europe – to a select group of international media, including Neos Kosmos.

The masterplan. Photo: Supplied

The magnitude of the 13-billion-dollar, 620 hectare project is re-iterated and referenced many times, as the CEO flaunts a plethora of statistics. There’ll be around eight thousand new homes, luxury hotels, a 310-berth marina, a one kilometre-long sandy beach and an assortment of retail, sport, leisure and work hubs.

There’s also mention of what remains one of the most contentious structures currently under construction – the 200-metre-tall, beachfront Riviera Tower hosting 200 apartments on 45 floors. Some locals have yet to be convinced it won’t be a blight on the Athens skyline.

The controversial Riviera Tower rising from the ground will be home to 200 apartments on 45 floors. Photo: Supplied

Meanwhile, Mr Athanasiou expresses his excitement over what The Ellinikon Project promises.

“It’s about providing a full life-style solution which sets new global standards. It is destined to become the “smartest” and greenest city in Europe.”

Odisseas Athanasiou. Photo: Supplied

Curiosity and perhaps a hint of scepticism has attracted around two million visitors to the Experience Centre (since it opened in 2021) to scrutinise detailed models of what is being built along the Athenian Riviera. The thirst for information is strong, and so, evidently, is the desire to buy a piece of paradise.

Phase A of the project is nearing completion, with confirmation that the Riviera Tower and a retail and dining galleria will be finished next year. Every apartment in the Tower has been sold, including the two penthouses just this month. At the time of publication, a handful of floors have been built with reports that another floor is added each week.

The Centre during the day. Photo: Supplied

As mountains of soil are excavated and deep foundations poured for a host of beguiling contemporary structures, plans to protect some of the historical artefacts on site are being implemented.

A large, 400 B.C. above-ground stone tomb that was once moved from its original position to allow better runway access for aircraft, will be returned to its sacred spot.

A dusty, neglected Olympic Airlines Boeing 747 jet will stay ‘on the tarmac’ – with thoughts it may one day be transformed into a flight simulator for the public to enjoy.

The old Olympic Boeing 747 plane. Photo: Supplied

Consultations are underway with local priests to better understand how to conserve and respectfully integrate several historic churches peppered around the site.

The three listed hangars are destined to become cultural centres. One suggestion, perhaps an aspirational aside from a local, would be to hold rave parties inside one of the expansive, high-ceilinged edifices.

In addition, the imposing steel structure on which the 2004 Olympic flame was lit, and surrounding amphitheatre, will be spruced up and protected – revered structures that encapsulate the essence and spirit of the Games.

The Experience Park via drone. Photo: Dimitris Spyrou

The Ellinikon Project master plan, hatched in 2013, is very gradually coming to fruition. The ambitious concept is to create a “15-minute city” that blends concrete and nature, comfort and sustainability, coastal living with urban style. It’s considered a revival of sorts, framing the coastal beauty of a place that is just 30 minutes from Athens International Airport.

The opportunity to walk or cycle from edge to edge in a quarter of an hour is the aim. Around a third of the entire site, named Metropolitan Park, is to be green space, with construction due to begin in September.

The three thousand trees that were dug up have been transplanted outside Athens and will eventually be returned to the park.

Couched amongst the varied neighbourhoods is a new sports complex for both professional and amateur athletes. The sports zone is near completion, with public access expected from next year.

Work on the marina, currently jammed with magnificent vessels, will speed up soon, as many of the super yacht owners sail off to spend the Summer elsewhere. The finished new marina will be lined with boutiques, restaurants and a hotel.

The Experience Park by night. Photo: Dimitris Spyrou

In a bid to keep car congestion to a minimum, an extensive underpass has been designed to keep vehicles out of sight, with basement carparks expected to host several thousand spaces. And a school and private university are also on the cards.

Mr Athanasiou proposes that amongst the benefits of “starting from scratch” is the use of advances in critical infrastructure such as renewable energy sources and state-of-the-art recycled waste and irrigation systems.

Photo: Supplied

The CEO plans to reach out to Greek diaspora in Australia, keen to showcase the innovation, grandeur and accessibility of The Ellinikon Project.

The entry level cost of an apartment has been estimated at around 400 thousand Euro (648 thousand AUD). The Centre is bracing for an influx of would-be residents and curious passers-by to peruse the plans of the 1500 coastal front apartments currently on the market.

Photo: Supplied

Around ten thousand people from 78 countries have registered interest in purchasing a residence. Of those, one quarter are said to be Greek diaspora from countries including Australia and England.

Lamda Development’s sights will soon be firmly set on our part of the world, aiming to inspire interest and intrigue in the biggest coastal park on the planet – a place that has the confidence to call one of its residential zones, Little Athens.

The writer travelled courtesy of Lamda Development.