The fall of a realty leader

Wednesday's news of former businessman Babis Vovos' arrest over unpaid debts seemed ironic as it coincided with the activation of the law concerning the double rehabilitation project for the areas of Votanikos and Ambelokipi in Athens.

The "Double Facelift" is a project that will see the construction of a more than 50,000-square meter mall that Vovos had been desperately trying to get permission to develop in Votanikos since the mid-2000s. It was the very cancellation of that effort by the Council of State in early 2009 that sent the then-listed property development company Babis Vovos SA into a downward spiral and eventually to bankruptcy a few years later.

According to observers of the course of the company that dominated the local property market for some two decades, from 1990 to 2010, the blocking of the investment in the double rehabilitation project by the City...

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