Greece's Lamda acquires rights over former Athens airport site

ATHENS, June 25 (Reuters) - Lamda Development on Friday acquired the rights to the site of the former Athens airport, clearing the way for Greece’s largest urban redevelopment project.

The HRADF privatisation agency said Lamda paid 300 million euros ($358 million) as a first tranche in a deal worth 915 million euros, and a deferred payment bond of up to 347 million euros.

“Today’s signing seals the implementation of a landmark investment for the country’s development perspective, which amounts to 8 billion euros and creates the prospect of thousands of new jobs with multiplier economic benefits for the Greek state”, HRADF executive director Panagiotis Stampoulidis said in a statement.

The project has faced years of delay due to bureaucratic hurdles and opposition to the project.

Redevelopment of the 1,500-acre (600-hectare) Hellenikon airport site on the Athens coast, where disused runways, terminals and former Olympic venues have sat abandoned for almost two decades, will include shopping malls, hotels and homes under a 99-year lease deal agreed in 2014.

$1 = 0.8375 euros Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Jason Neely