In news from Crete, the development of a former U.S. base in Gournes near Heraklion is set to roll out. Investors in what will be a project similar to the Elliniko state sell-off fund TAIPED for the Athens airport are ready to invest hundreds of millions in the project.
Plans to redevelop a huge American military base closed down back in 1993 have been rumored for decades now. According to this most recent news a special zoning plan has been submitted to the government for approval, and it is expected to be approved within days. Potential investors from he US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Croatia have already show interest in the new TAIPED project that would transform the beachfront east of Heraklion.
Environmental impact studies and consultations will lead to a tender soon, at least according to sources. TAIPED’s plan will provide for the utilization of 350,000 square meters of the almost 738,000 sq.m. covered by the former US base. Meanwhile, the rest of the huge plot bordering the Cretan Sea has already been occupied by state and private entities. Citing the from the earlier 2014 TAIPED tender announcement:
“The development plan includes a tourist resort village and a nine-hole golf course. It is noted that the development plan, for which an open consultation with the Local and Regional Authorities has been conducted, does not include operating facilities already granted in the Region, the Municipality and the HCMR.”
The investors are slated to build up to two luxury hotels and some 80-holiday houses – similar to the plans for Elliniko. It is also rumored that Crete a casino permit like the one issued for Elliniko in southern Athens.
Previous developments in this area of Crete included the Cretaquarium, which first opened on the site of the former USAF Iraklion Air Station back in 2005.
Image credit: The feature image is from the Creteaquarium, which is just adjacent to the U.S. base.