Black­Rock at log­ger­heads with gov’t

Kathimerini English - - Focus - NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

De­spite as­sur­ances by Econ­omy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis that a deal be­tween Black­Rock and the govern­ment re­gard­ing the con­struc­tion of the Academy Gar­dens mall in western Athens is im­mi­nent, the is­sue ap­pears to be par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult and may well not be re­solved.

Fol­low­ing re­ports that Black­Rock is con­sid­er­ing pulling out of the project for the 50,000 square me­ter mall at Kolonos, Stathakis said there will be a pos­i­tive con­clu­sion very soon. For that to hap­pen, he added, a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with the in­vestors must be signed, bind­ing them on three points: the pay­ment of ex­pro­pri­a­tion costs (es­ti­mated at 5 mil­lion euros), the show­cas­ing of archaeological finds and an em­pha­sis on green spa­ces.

That would open the way for the pres­i­den­tial de­cree needed for the is­sue of the con­struc­tion per­mits. How­ever, th­ese de­mands have met strong re­sis­tance on the in­vestors’ part.

While they agree with the archaeological as­pect and em­pha­siz­ing green spa­ces, “ask­ing us to pro­ceed to ex­pro­pri­a­tions, which is the com­pe­tence of the state, is un­heard of,” stressed Gior­gos Tsoukalas, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Ar­tume, which be­longs to Black­Rock Europe Prop­erty Fund III.

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