The participation of Stefanos D. Vlastos, CEO of HPPC SA, Aris Karytinos, CEO of PRODEA and Dimitris Andriopoulos, President and CEO of DIMAND in the Oikonomikos Tachidromos Forum highlighted the need for Public Real Estate Managers to work with the investment and business world to ensure unused real estate in Athens and other cities is renovated and promoted.
“We are called to overcome and solve difficulties on a permanent basis. We set priorities and make every effort as the Public Property Company to contribute to the positive change that is taking place in the development of the economy “, stressed Mr. Vlastos, referring to HPPC’s contribution to major urban regeneration and to attracting investments through putting public property to use.
During the discussion on “Cities That Change – Skyscrapers, Business Parks and Large Regeneration Projects in Athens”, which was moderated by journalists Costas Tsaousis and Vassilis Kanellis, the three participants shared their experience of implementing major development projects and the major difficulties and delays that occur in real estate development as a result of co-responsibilities and the involvement of many different bodies.
In relation to local communities’ resistance to the optimal use of public property, the CEO of HPPC referred to instances where the Company’s landmark real estate had been used by local bodies with meagre results for the Greek State, and to other cases where HPPC had recently regained control of significant real estate after decades of encroachment.
“Our goal is to work speedily, flexibly and efficiently to put an end to the inaction and devaluation in public real estate”, stated Mr. Vlastos, emphasising that the digitisation process may contribute significantly to the management of the HPPC portfolio.
“During the pandemic we managed to hold auctions and to rapidly take major steps towards the transition to a digital process. We find solutions, we have help from society, citizens, Municipalities and Regions. We listen to the community and we are bringing a large number of our properties out of obscurity”, added Mr. Vlastos.
In addition, the CEO of HPPC emphasised the fact that the Company is currently making significant investments in its properties such as the Parnassos Ski Center and Akti Vouliagmeni. He also referred to the upcoming tender for the development of Lake Caiaphas, noting that this is a landmark piece of real estate which is particularly sensitive environmentally and is also of great tourist importance. The Company’s goal for the Lake is to achieve sustainable development.
A common conclusion during the discussion was that redevelopment projects are the only way for cities to develop and to bring about a change in the country’s overall image. Redevelopment generates significant economic income, generates jobs and benefits for local communities and improves the lives of citizens. As the participants pointed out, renovations are difficult when they are carried out entirely by private bodies without State participation, and factors that cause delays should be removed immediately so that large development projects can proceed quickly and flexibly. Finally, special mention was made of the shallow investors’ market and the adversities and obstacles faced by any private or public body which is called to implement any development or modernisation in the country.