By Stefanos Vlastos *

It is clear that 2021 will confront us with an exceptionally complex economic reality in which we must collectively create the conditions for a path of recovery and a return to economic growth.

The Hellenic Public Properties Company (HPPC), as the largest company for the management and exploitation of Greek state property, is responsible for leading the effort to fashion a strategy for best utilising state-owned real estate.

During 2020 our objective was to bolster the value of public property by faithfully implementing a plan for exploiting our portfolio and contributing to the national effort to attract investments and create strong growth.

Operating with an exceedingly tight timetable the company managed to properly prepare and conduct a tender for the portion of the Skaramanga Shipyard that is in its portfolio in order to render ther explotation of the entire property feasible.

At the same time a solution was found to circumvent pending, time-consuming problems in order to ensure the smooth consession of the Alimos Marina [for 40 years, sealed on 31 December for 27.3 million euros].

The concession opened the way for an investment of national import in the largest marina of the Balkans. It is part of the plan for the remodeling of the «Athens Riviera» which in the coming years is expected to create jobs and an environment for substantial investment in the wider area.

With the exclusive aim of maximising the value of private property, HPPC «matured» a string of properties that for many years remained unused, some for decades, by putting them on the market with tenders and completing their sale.

It completed a number of long-term concessions such as the Chios Xenia Hotel (photo) that went to the Tsakos Group and will contribute to local economic development by creating jobs and enriching the tourism product.

With detailed planning, HPPC laid the groundwork for the exploitation of former 2004 Olympics venues which, although they constituted significant capital for the country, remained unused for 16 years.

Benefit for the public

At the same time, the company secured economic benefits for the public sector through the streamlining and renegotiation of the existing contracts for the Gouvia Marina in Corfu and the Voula Camping.

It also focused its efforts on upgrading properties such as the famed Achilleion Palace in Corfu which the PM has committed the government to restore for the benefit of local society and the country, drawing capital from EU National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funding amounting to 12.95mn euros.

In this new era and beginning in 2021 the aim is to contribute to the greatest possible degree to the national effort to once again place Greece on the path of economic development through the best possible use of state-owned real estate.

* Stefanos Vlastow is CEO of the Hellenic Public Properties Company.