So, who will be the lucky win­ner?

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

We have al­most reached the end of the in­vestor se­lec­tion pe­riod for the casino re­sort. From what we un­der­stand, there are two op­tions from po­ten­tial bid­ders. The one would be in Li­mas­sol, in the greater Fa­souri re­gion, the other to the east of Li­mas­sol (near EAC power sta­tion), while an­other op­tion that is gain­ing ground is the western re­gion of Lar­naca. From the sur­round­ing cir­cles, we are in­formed that from the three as­pir­ing in­vestors, two are rather look­ing at the choice of Lar­naca.

If in­deed this in­vest­ment chooses Lar­naca, this will give a se­ri­ous i mpe­tus to the now un­de­vel­oped and largely un­pre­ferred re­gion, with cor­re­spond­ing ef­fects on prop­erty val­ues ??in the area. With­out hav­ing rel­e­vant pref­er­ences, we hope that the choice will be Lar­naca, be­cause this “city of de­struc­tion” (see my pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles), ur­gently needs high cost in­vest­ments. The only re­mark­able de­vel­op­ments were the plans by a for­eign com­pany to build two or three blocks of flats in the cen­tre of town (noth­ing special for the other re­gions). Hope­fully, this time round the peo­ple of Lar­naca will use their brains and not start protest­ing again as a re­sult of which the casino will end up else­where be­cause they will never have an­other sim­i­lar chance. Those who hope the port of Lar­naca will be­come a cruise ter­mi­nal need to keep on dream­ing. Who will go on cruises in the Eastern Mediter­ranean with so many wars go­ing on around us? What will the tourists vis­its when they ar­rive here, when nei­ther Egypt nor Syria / Le­banon are open?

Too bad that the state will spend tens of thou­sands of eu­ros again for yet an­other study (by for­eign con­sul­tants) to find po­ten­tial in­vestors. Li­mas­sol tried to set up a link to Mar­seille and we saw the re­ac­tion from the French, that “at this stage it is not the ap­pro­pri­ate time for a cruise con­nec­tion be­tween the two cities.”

So, if the casino re­sort project is based in Lar­naca this will also help the golf project in Terse­fanou, where the de­vel­op­ment seems to have been frozen, while there will be pos­i­tive chain ef­fects in the area, to the ben­e­fit of the Mouskis ho­tel (Al­diana) as well as the ex­pected in­creased de­mand for lo­cal homes and the var­i­ous re­lated en­ter­prises.

It is wor­ry­ing that the build­ings in most of the area have been worn down, while the signs of ne­glect are ev­i­dent. To this end the casino project will help Ma­zo­tos and the greater re­gion, Anafo­tia, Terse­fanou, Ayios Theodoros, etc. It would not be un­rea­son­able to ex­pect a reval­u­a­tion of cur­rent prop­erty prices (now there is al­most no de­mand) of around 10-15% with the an­nounce­ment of the lo­ca­tion, plus a sim­i­lar per­cent­age in­crease with the start of con­struc­tion work at the re­sort and its com­ple­tion.

The choice of the site be­longs to the in­vestor and for us who live here, if it were a choice be­tween Li­mas­sol and Lar­naca it is ob­vi­ous that Li­mas­sol dom­i­nates, but what do we know from such kind of busi­ness? Strange as it may seem, the “oc­cu­pied” ar­eas have be­gun to worry about the cre­ation of the re­sort in the free ar­eas, as the casi­nos north are rather low in qual­ity, who ex­pect that the av­er­age Cypriot gam­bler will stay with them due to the strict ad­mis­sion cri­te­ria in the casino re­sort in the Repub­lic, while vis­i­tors from Turkey and some oth­ers will con­tinue to sup­port the casino clubs in the north.

Apart from po­ten­tial large prop­erty own­ers in Lar­naca with whom we are in con­tact, we were told that the coastal plots of 535,000 square me­ters they are ask­ing for 250 eu­ros / sq.m. which is an ex­ces­sive amount for this area of ??Lar­naca, but a quar­ter or a firth of sim­i­lar coastal prices in the Li­mas­sol area. There­fore, the only dif­fer­ence for the new casino lo­ca­tion will be in the cost of land ac­qui­si­tion, whether this will be around 250 mil­lion eu­ros, while half the cost of the project will be cov­ered from this dif­fer­ence.

I re­gret that Nicosia was left out of all this game as it would be a great op­por­tu­nity to re­vive the cap­i­tal. I un­der­stand that a for­eign in­vestor showed in­ter­est in the large es­tate owned by Kykkos in Nicosia (En­gomi) but that this was has not cho­sen by the State for var­i­ous rea­sons, al­though as I hear one of the share­hold­ers is the prospec­tive new pres­i­dent of the U.S., Don­ald Trump.

So we wait, be­cause the se­lec­tion of bid­ders is ex­pected within the next few months and ac­cord­ing to the lo­ca­tion we wil see which area ben­e­fits most.

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