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Developers Want to Turn Closed Athens Airport Into Huge Coastal Resort

A developer's plans for what was once Ellinikon International Airport in Athens would turn the facility into one of the biggest coastal resorts in Europe.

Closed in 2001 to make way for Athens International Airport, Ellinikon currently serves as a makeshit refugee camp for more than 3,000 people who have fled Asia and the Middle East. But a 7-billion euro plan from a company called Lambda Development calls for relocating those residents to locations throughout the country and turning Ellinikon—with its prime, 1,530 acres of seaside property—into a resort with homes, hotels, shops, a park, and a 0.62-mile beach that would be open to the public for free.

Parliamentary and court approval are still pending, but the developers say they hope to get started on construction in 2017 for an opening as early as 2020.