Lamda Development has completed the process of finding investors for its residential and office towers in the Hellinikon project but sources report weak interest from investors abroad.
In the end, only a few Greek groups showed interested when one would have expected a large international participation in such a highly symbolic project, such as Hellinikon. Although the deadline for expressions of interest for the first two skyscrapers of Elliniko, for offices and homes, has expired, the results are unclear.
If sources saying that few Greek and foreign groups showed interest are confirmed, then those that claim the pandemic will leave a deep mark on the Greek real estate look to be on target. Many had expected stronger interest from international groups in the initial search for co-investors.
There is talk that Prodea REIC, Dimand, Grivalia, Orilina Properties and Brook Lane are among those that have expressed interest in the office tower. US group Hines is also said to be interested in the office tower and the skyscraper that will include apartments on the side of Aghios Kosmas.
In the real estate market, officials say that Lamda Development has not ruled out going it alone on the two high rise buildings. In any case, the Latsis group company is planning to hold onto a majority of the company - up to 75% - that would undertake the residential tower and a minority stake in the office tower.
Market watchers emphasize that there is interest, especially for the office tower, but Lamda Development is remaining tight lipped on the issue.
After the communication buzz about the start of the investment, which did not come, they have decided to keep a low profile until substantial progress is made.
Once the Council of State issues a decision on the appeals of residents and institutions, in combination with the finalization of the distribution deal between Lamda and the state, then final signatures will be put in place. When will this happen? "Maybe in three months, maybe in six," according to market officials.
The development of this emblematic investment is being closely watched by Greece’s official sectors, noting in the European Commission’s latest enhanced surveillance report on Greece that:
- Progress on the pending prerequisites for the financial closing of the transaction continued over the past three months.
- Following the selection of the provisional preferred bidder for the award of the casino licence by the Hellenic Gaming Commission on 13 October 2020, the review procedure on supporting documents by the Hellenic Gaming Commission was completed on 12 February, whereas the Court of Audit approval is expected soon thereafter.
- Further, the partition of the Hellinikon site agreed in February 2020 is expected to be finalised in a binding legal document by end-February 2021.
- Its ratification by the Parliament is expected in March 2021. However, pending are still the decisions of the Council of State on a number of legal cases.
- The financial closing of the transaction is expected in the coming months.