"Alive" the project of converting the "Mills" into a hotel


The owner of the building was found in Kalamata the previous time

A new attempt to utilize the old roller mills in the port of Kalamata seems to be the intention of the owner company, while the owner visited Kalamata from Thessaloniki, where he lives permanently, the previous time.

A similar effort, by the same owner, had begun exactly 15 years ago, but delays from the Ministry of Culture caused the process to be completely frozen.

Now, it is being reheated, as it seems the owner intends to reconstruct and create a luxury hotel with many facilities, as well as to build luxury apartments with hotel facilities (Pied a terre). However, no official move has yet been made to start work, nor have any permits been issued.

However, in the previous weeks the owner of the building, Thanasis Karpidis, with his family and a friend from Italy, were in Kalamata, where they stayed in a hotel unit on the beach, which was recently inaugurated and visited the premises of the roller mills.

In fact, reports say that his effort to build and operate the "Mills" is supported by a South African businessman. The impression was that the project is "alive", and based on this particular case, the city of Kalamata will acquire a "jewel" unit, thus increasing the added tourist value it has already acquired. 

Since 2007
2007 was the first time there was serious interest in bringing one of the city's most important industrial buildings back to life.
The real estate company from Thessaloniki that managed the building was aiming to develop tourism, leisure and commercial activities in the building.
The first thoughts were to reconstruct the old building and operate a luxury hotel with many amenities, while the property where the warehouses were operating was to create a village center-type commercial and recreational center. In addition, the adjacent land, also owned by the company, is to be used for the construction of luxury apartments with hotel facilities (pied a terre).
Moves were made for its designation as a listed building by the Ministry of Culture, and specifically by the Central Council of Modern Monuments.
However, although a long period of time passed, the ministry did not decide on the designation of the industrial building so that the company could submit plans for its development and the case was frozen.
Now, the story heats up with the visit of the owner to Kalamata.
However, according to reports, no permission has yet been issued for work on the building by the Planning Department or the competent ministry, neither for reconstruction nor for further security measures.
B.V., A.P.

Article and photos from the journal Tharros 14/09/2022

Kalamata: The Mills will become a hotel in the port - Work has begun on the building

The historic building of the Mills in the port of Kalamata is finally being developed.

According to our information, the work that is currently being carried out in the building, aims at its utilization. Without any announcement for the moment, it is estimated that a hotel will be built in the mills and spaces will be created for further commercial use, as the building is very large and allows its use in various ways.

Information indicates that the project of its development is likely to have been included in a funding programme or development law, while others claiming that there has been a change in its ownership status cannot be confirmed for the moment.

It should be recalled that last year at this time the owner company carried out extensive interventions to remove the historic building of the Mills and access to this building was blocked. This was so that it would not be a clear-cut vineyard and there would be no danger to people entering it, as well as to passers-by and passing vehicles.


https://eleftheriaonline.gr/local/koinonia/item/277888-kalamata-tha-kanoun-ksenodoxeio-tous-mylous-sto-limani-exoun-ksekinisei-ergasies-sto-ktirio |Sunday, 04 September 2022

Port of Kalamata: The Mills come back to life - two luxury hotels are created | 14/11/2022 20:04

One of the most historic buildings, inextricably linked to the city of Kalamata, is the one of the Mills. It is a building of 11,400 square meters, which has been undergoing reconstruction work for several months, with the aim of creating two themed hotels.

The Kalamatan architect Kostas Poulopoulos, who has an office under the name SquareOne in Copenhagen, undertook to transform the old industrial complex into a modern twin hotel complex, 5 and 4 Plus stars, while the technical office of Mr. Panagiotis Nasopoulos, a civil engineer in Kalamata, has undertaken the project management of the entire complex, implementing the initial design.

Apart from the thematic hotels, however, in this complex, which occupies an entire block, other spaces will be created, which will highlight the industrial history of the building, the port area and the city in general, while it should be noted that some of the machinery that shows how the mills used to operate will remain inside.

"Tharros" spoke with Mr. Panagiotis Nasopoulos about the history of the building and the challenges facing the design team.

The first licence of 1929 and the additions
The first question we asked Mr. Nasopoulos was about the construction of the complex and when it was completed in the form we see today.

It is a complex that, as he told us, has the shape of an "E", while inside it hides secrets that the human eye cannot discern unless it knows them.

According to Mr.Nasopoulos, after a search in the General State Archives they found that the first permit is from 1929, while it was created from studies by European engineers.

Since then, of course, until the final form we see today, additions were made to the building complex. In fact, even he himself is impressed by the quality of construction of the buildings. Although the oldest buildings may be almost 100 years old, the load-bearing structure has no serious structural problems, in proportion to their age, and given that they are built in a coastal environment and have not been maintained for 30 years.

Closing the issue of the existing situation of the complex, which is enclosed by the streets Kountouriotou, Psaron, Evangelistria and Hydra, he said that very serious interventions will be made in the load-bearing structure, as well as in the entire complex of buildings, which result from the studies prepared by his office.

Connections with the port
During the inspection, some galleries were also found under the pier, which connected the building with the harbour. At that time, ships for loading and unloading raw materials and finished products were low.

These, of course, do not exist now. They have found their beginning, but they do not exist afterwards, because they have been closed over the years, following interventions that were apparently carried out on the harbour quay.

The operation of the mills and when they stopped
The current owner of the building bought it in the late 1980s, as he was engaged in a similar business in Northern Greece.

It operated with the same use until about 1994, when the operation of the Mills stopped, since it was now completely unprofitable for the entrepreneur, because in the meantime the commercial character of the port of Kalamata ceased, as Mr.Nasopoulos added.

The owner's concern for the use of the building
When the mills stopped operating, the owner was thinking about how to use the space.

It should be noted that apart from the building we see, there is also the back block, south of the church of the Ascension, where the metal silo was located, which was and remains in the same property.

Preservable as regards the shell and the machinery - Its importance for the industrial development of the city and the country
Meanwhile, by decision of the Ministry of Culture in 2009 the shell of the 7-storey building is classified as a listed building, with the decision, according to Mr. The shells of the buildings of the industrial complex Kyllindromyloi Messinia SA are an important historical testimony to the effort of industrial development of both the city of Kalamata and Greece in general, are associated with the effort of industrialization, processing and standardization of grain and are a reference point for the residents of Kalamata, since they have been associated with the history of the city for almost a century.

Two sieves of the wheat pre-cleaner's bollards, located on the second floor of the building facing Psaron Street, which are connected to the operation and character of the industrial complex, have also been classified as movable monuments to be preserved.

The hotels, the museum space and the multiplex
Arriving at the present day and the decision of exploitation, we asked Mr.Nasopoulos what is planned to be done, with the answer being impressive, as the transformation of both the building and the port is expected. After all, it is an imposing building that dominates the site.

According to Mr.Nasopoulos, based on the architectural study of Mr.Poulopoulos and the office of SquareOne, its development is suitable for tourist use, while it has already been approved and included in a development law hotel: one 5-star, about 100 beds, while the second part, again a tourist facility, also about 100 beds, with it belonging to the category 4 plus stars.

In the back building of the complex, part of it will become a multi-purpose space, "whose uses we are already studying in cooperation with the owner, while the other part will become a museum space, which will highlight the history of this part of the city and the operation of the roller mills. At the same time, it will be a venue for cultural events.

The start of the work and the cost of the whole project
The preparatory work has been underway for about a year, as Mr.Nasopoulos noted, receiving permits from the City Planning of Kalamata and approvals from the Ministry of Culture.

All the preliminary work is being carried out on the entire building complex, in order to be ready for the interventions once the proposed uses are licensed.

As for the cost of reconstruction and creation of the uses that he mentioned, the budget for the development of the entire building complex of the front block, but also the supporting, because there will be a building and the property in the block south of the Ascension, is in the range of 15 to 20 million euros.

The time required, as well as the bureaucratic
One question we could not help but ask is when the whole project will be ready, with Mr.Nasopoulos answering that "not everything is in their hands", since services are involved and approvals and permits must be given.

He added: "If we have the support of the institutions (Ministry of Culture in order to give all the approvals and the Municipality of Kalamata for the permits of the Urban Planning Department) we intend to move forward soon. The design team is currently drafting the relevant studies and we hope, both we and the owner, to move forward soon."

Continuing, Mr. Nasopoulos wished: "May we be supported by the agencies in the sense of timely approval and that the permits are issued. In the course of 3 years we hope and intend to have completed the project, if all goes well always".

At the same time, he noted that for one part of the building complex, for the two-storey building located in the southwest corner, the Planning Department's permit is already issued and work is to begin after this is done.

The theme hotels and the elements in the interior to be retained
"Based on the architectural study by SquareOne, we have to point out that it is a given that the hotels will be thematic," said Mr. Nasopoulos, "it is a given that they will connect the history of the area and the uses."

He added: "With tourism development, that is, there will be elements that will be preserved, such as wooden silos, etc.

Still, we try to keep up with the start and end work clock. In general, whatever we can and is useful and might be of use at the time, we save and keep it for preservation.

The architectural vision of K. Poulopoulos requires us to highlight the existing reinforced concrete silos. These will remain inside, they will be thematic hotels as I told you".

A jewel
To the question "For you, what is this project?", Mr.Panagiotis Nasopoulos replied, "For me it is a life's work", to add: "I am born and bred, like my ancestors, Kalamatianos, and of course to have my technical office participate in the development of this complex is an honor for me and gives me great pleasure, because it is a challenge as an engineer to highlight it, but also because it gives a developmental impetus to our city".

"What about the owner?" is the next question: "It's a dream, a vision of his. It is a man who has no connection with Kalamata, but because we have been in contact for many years and I know his love for our place, it was and is his intention to complete this project, with its optimal use, to become a jewel for the city of Kalamata that will support its development.

The importance of the waterway
Mr. Nasopoulos referred, finally, to the waterport, as it is planned to be created in front of the hotel, an infrastructure that he described as positive. As he noted, he does not know what will be the movement of the redevelopment that will be made at the point, but for him it is important and positive the first image of a visitor with the waterport.

Next time at "Tharros" we will have the pleasure to present the architect Kostas Poulopoulos, who will talk to us about this project.

By Panagiotis Babaroutsis