During 2013, hotel occupancy and RevPar indices in Athens have been positive for the first time in six years. Athens aims to be ranked among the “city break” European destinations. Ambitions are expected to be boosted by extensive urban regeneration projects in the near future, such as the pedestrianization of Panepistimiou Str. in the heart of the CBD and the redevelopment of the south water front. However, the group of big players in the hotel market (Starwood, InterContinental, Hilton, Divani, Sofitel) will be reduced by one member, as Μarriott Ιnternational is planning to withdraw from Athens.
Moreover, the project pipeline remains nearly empty, as the only project scheduled is the €3.5 million refurbishment of President Hotel. Nevertheless, the biggest deal ever in the Greek hotel market is expected in the Q2 of 2014. Rumours say that about €250 million will be spent in the auction of “Asteras Vouliagmenis”. The property is located in a small peninsula in the south of Athens and is owned partially by the Greek State and the National Bank of Greece. It consists of 304,000 m² of land (112,000 m² with development potential) and a five-star hotel. The bidders will include major international and domestic investors (for instance US fund Colony Capital, Hines, ICI, Russian Strategic Initiative, Charterworld, the hedge fund Baupost and domestic Lamda Developments)
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