Greece's first food hall, based on Madrid's Mercado San Miquel and Italy's EATALY, is expected to open at the Arsakeio Mansion in central Athens in June 2021, promoting the country's cuisine to millions of tourists visiting the country every year.
Legendary Food - a company set up by bankers Vaggelis Kotzias and Panagiotis Triantafyllopoulos, brand strategist Peter Economides and businessman Aris Kefalogiannis - will initially invest 12 million euros in the project, of which 3.5 million euros will be raised by the company in the next two weeks via a share capital hike that will be covered by private investors.
Sources say that Greek shippers are behind the project but no specific names have been made public. The name of the food hall will be unveiled within the next two months with the final development plans expected to be ready in six months.
The company's initial share capital is worth 500,00 euros. Given the ambitious nature of the project and the fact that another capital injection will be required, the owners are considering loan finance when conditions mature in the next few years, while also weighing up the listing of the company on a stock market.
The project's position in central Athens is considered to be ideal given that the building is a local landmark and able to attract tourists and other potential customers. Its concept focuses on providing small food producers in Greece with exposure to tourists who enjoy Greek cuisine, alongside the best chefs, all under one roof.
Based on the business plan, as described by Kefalogiannis, the food hall is forecast to attract 10,000 to 12,000 visitors per day, amounting to some 3 million people per year, with each shopper spending some 14 euros.
In regards to revenues from the real estate, the company expects to lease out 70 percent of the total space available for rent, meaning that the development of the Arsakeios Mansion will be immediately profitable. The property offers spaces for 65 stores and the project will directly create 500 jobs and 5,000 more indirectly.
The development program of the Arsakeio Mansion includes the refurbishing of the Books Archway, the Orfeos Arcade, and the Arsakeio Atrium that stretches over 11,000 square meters. Apart from restaurants and stores, the food hall will accommodate well known Greek companies and small food producers, along with events such as food and wine tasting and discussions revolving around Greek cuisine.