A building in central Athens that used to house the Education Ministry but which has remained empty since the department moved in 2007 is due to be transformed into a hotel, Kathimerini understands.
Located on Mitropoleos Street in the city center, the building was erected in 1959 and is owned by the Church of Greece. Ten tenders have been carried out since 2007, when the Education Ministry moved to Maroussi in northern Athens, in order for the building to be put to commercial use.
A few months ago, the 10th tender proved successful as a company called Electra Mitropolis was awarded a 35-year lease for 700,000 euros a year, with the option of a 15-year extension. The firm plans to turn the building into a luxury hotel, investing some 15 million euros in the project. The company is part of the same group that runs the Electra Hotel on Ermou Street, which is housed in a building that is also owned by the Church.
It is expected that the conversion of the building into a hotel will create 200 full-time employment positions. There will be a gym, including a swimming pool in the basement, and a rooftop restaurant at the new hotel.
Authorities have had to approve the new use of the building as it lies on the border of the protected area of Plaka. This required an amendment to be made to the law by the Environment Ministry. Once the new tenant is issued with a permit allowing the construction work to take place, it is expected that eight months will be needed for the project to be completed.