Wednesday, April 24 2024
Clear Sky
49.64°F New York

The Ellinikon: An $8.2 billion smart city twice the size of Central Park is rising in Greece, complete with luxury homes for sale at New York prices

the ellinikon
The Ellinikon is a planned city of 2.3 square miles on the outskirts of Athens. It will be about twice the size of Central Park and three times the size of Monaco, with the first phase slated for completion in 2026. The Ellinikon is expected to bring a much-needed boost to Greece's economy, which was hit hard by the country's decade-long debt crisis and the pandemic.

The project took its name from the former Hellinikon Airport, which shuttered in 2001 and is part of the site on which The Ellinikon is being built. The site also housed facilities for the 2004 summer Olympics.

The Ellinikon aims to be a "smart city," in the sense that it will be a place that puts data and digital technology to work to improve the quality of life. Every element should be walkable within 15 minutes.

It will include high-end shopping, restaurants, housing, an athletic club, hotels, office space, and a sprawling public park. Currently the site is home to the Ellinikon Experience Center and Park, where visitors can get an idea of what's to come.

The project's first phase includes two hotels, shopping and dining destinations, seaside villas, condos, a residential high-rise, a 400-berth marina, a public beach, and 40% of the park. It's expected to cost $2.56 billion.

One of three shopping areas, the Marina Galleria, is designed by Japanese architecture firm Kengo Kuma & Associates. It will have storefronts for high-end international retailers as well as well-established Greek designers.

In addition to another mall with international brands of varying price points, The Ellinikon will also have a big-box retail park for brands equivalent to Walmart and Costco.

The city will eventually have a total of 10,000 new residences, from rental apartments to seaside villas to Greece's first residential high-rise, Marina Tower, designed by Foster + Partners.

The "athletic precinct" will be home to 20 tennis courts, six training halls for sports like gymnastics and fencing, nine basketball courts, and three Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The development will also include a high-rise office tower that will become Greece's tallest commercial building; a mixed-use tower with office space, a hotel for business travelers, and low-rise offices. It will also have a connection to two metro stations and a new tram line.

Interlaced with 31 miles of walking and biking paths, The Ellinikon's Metropolitan Park will nearly double the existing green space per capita for Athenians. The park, by United States-based urban planning and design firm Sasaki, will have over 1 million new plants.

The 200-residence Marina Tower designed by Foster + Partners — a firm helmed by acclaimed English modernist architect Norman Foster — is already sold out in presales. As have 27 seaside villas, and 115 cove residences, bringing in a total of $1.02 billion.

Pricing for the development's more high-end units, including the Marina Tower, villas, and cove residences, starts at about $853 per square foot and reaches up to about $2,842 per square foot. Manhattan's median asking price per square foot was $1,580 in June 2022, according to StreetEasy, putting The Ellinikon's premium residence prices on par with New York pricing.

Marina Tower is divided into two halves but is united by multiple platforms containing swimming pools.

Majority of the residential buyers so far have been Greek, Lamda Development CEO Odisseas Athanasiou told Insider. The project will begin courting foreign buyers later this year. Lamda Development acquired the land in 2014 and started construction in 2021.

Lamda tapped Hard Rock International to bring Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens to the site by 2026. It will have 200 gaming tables, 2,000 gaming machines, and a tower with more than 1,000 guest rooms, a convention space, high-end shops, and the highest rooftop terrace in Athens, according to a June statement.

The roughly 1-square-mile Ellinikon Park will be irrigated with recycled waste water and collected rain water. Sensors placed throughout the grounds will monitor for when street and path lights are needed, working to conserve energy.

The Ellinikon is expected to bring a much-needed boost to Greece's economy, which was hit hard by the country's decade-long debt crisis and the pandemic.