By Ilias Bellos
State sell-off fund TAIPED is preparing to announce a tender in the next few months for the utilization of the property of the former US military base near Irakleio on Crete.
The asset to be conceded – with the option to open a casino too – covers 350,000 square meters, is located by the sea and is considered ideal for the development of a tourism accommodation complex.
Major Greek hotel market players have already knocked on TAIPED’s door, as have representatives of foreign groups and investment funds. As one of the few remaining seaside properties to be available for purchase in the area, the great investor interest comes as little surprise.
While the bureaucratic procedures required for the asset’s sale reached an advanced phase last year, TAIPED is set to submit the Special Development Plan for Public Property to the government’s council of ministerial general secretaries in the next few days. This instrument is able to sidestep town planning and other obstacles, as it is approved by presidential decree.
According to the law passed last year to allow for a casino permit at Elliniko in southern Athens, there can also be a new casino on Crete. Its location will be decided by the Finance Ministry, which has not yet done so, and if Irakleio is chosen then the property of the former US base will be able to host it.
This article was first published on ekathimerini.com.