A new era for Lar­naca?

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Some­thing is chang­ing in Lar­naca with many projects go­ing on, both by the pub­lic as well as by the pri­vate sec­tor. What is no­tice­able is the “ren­o­va­tion” of the old town ex­tend­ing from the coastal line up to Gr. Afx­en­tiou av­enue and from the Makenzy beach area to the oil in­stal­la­tions.

At long last there are a cou­ple of po­ten­tial suit­ers for the Lar­naca port/ma­rina, but there are a lot of hick­ups re­quir­ing the Lar­naca oper­a­tor to pay some sort of com­pen­sa­tion to the Li­mas­sol port oper­a­tor. I un­der­stand that this is not a large amount, but rather than los­ing the long awaited for­eign in­vestors, bet­ter for the gov­ern­ment to un­der­take the bur­den (es­ti­mated to be around EUR 100,000 p.a.).

There are six new small bou­tique ho­tels re­cently erected and in­clud­ing those un­der way, which, cou­pled with the Ayios Lazaros square and the ren­o­va­tion of old build­ings and in­clud­ing the new mu­nic­i­pal mar­ket, will add to the old town’s pop­u­lar­ity.

The trou­bled Phinikoudes ho­tel and shop­ping cen­tre seems to have its prob­lems on the way to be re­solved, but it is a project that even when the le­gal tan­gles be­tween the in­vestor and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity are by­passed, its oper­a­tion/com­ple­tion will not be­come true prior to the lapse of four years.

The Chi­nese in­vestor ho­tel Radis­son Blu and the new sky­scraper at Makar­ios Av­enue across the road from the ma­rina will add an air of glamour to the town, as well the other projects at the Makenzy fish­ing har­bor (now un­der way).

The Makenzy beach is still in a mess re­gard­ing the le­gal oc­cu­pa­tion is­sues, but not­with­stand­ing th­ese, it is be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar both by tourists, and es­pe­cially by Ni­cosia fam­i­lies who have an ex­tended beach, am­ple space to play and nu­mer­ous en­ter­tain­ment places to use.

The Lar­naca Shop­ping Mall is also un­der con­sid­er­a­tion/ex­pect­ing per­mits and this will also help to add a cos­mopoli­tan de­vel­op­ment for both Lar­naca and the sub­urbs.

The re­cent de­ci­sion to re­move the old fuel re­fin­ery in­stal­la­tions and the gas/oil stor­age tanks is a ma­jor is­sue for the town. I un­der­stand that the ex­tended beach area will be (should be) zoned for high rise of­fice and apart­ment de­vel­op­ments to ac­com­mo­date th­ese sort of uses, which are nowhere to be found in the sea­side area of the town.

A lot of work is re­quired mind you and we do not place the time ben­e­fit of this to be ear­lier than 5-6 years – just as a point to men­tion we should most like to keep the “ball” which is a unique at­trac­tion as a fea­ture and per­haps the own­ers should con­sider mak­ing it a gift to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. It could be placed in an­other lo­ca­tion and to form part of a small park, etc. for chil­dren and oth­ers

The town has not be­come the sub­ject of high-end sales and de­mand for real estate is forth­com­ing mainly from the lower end bud­gets, mainly apart­ments in the re­gion of EUR 100.000-250.000 mainly from the Lebanese/Ira­nian na­tion­als, whereas Ni­cosia buy­ers show now an in­ter­est for near beach units. De­mand for the Airbnb-villa to let is also a case for in­come which show an in­creased de­mand.

De­mand is also com­ing for res­i­den­tial plots with a high build­ing den­sity (over 140%) for apart­ment de­vel­op­ment.

Lar­naca is the only town “on the beach” since the oth­ers have be­tween the town and the sea var­i­ous build­ings, whereas Lar­naca res­i­dents can eas­ily walk to the beach area of Phinikoudes and Makenzy.

There are many ifs and buts re­gard­ing Lar­naca town de­vel­op­ment, but at least some­thing is mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion, whereas as I have recorded be­fore in a pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cle on this mat­ter, Lar­naca has a prob­lem with its own cit­i­zens, as op­posed to Li­mas­sol who act as one and they know what they want. It seems that the new Mayor of the town, Mr Vi­ras, has the pre­req­ui­sites for good man­age­ment and suc­cess as long as he can “de­liver”. The al­ways ob­ject­ing small groups on any de­vel­op­ment (eg. the Dheke­lia road which is held back yet again af­ter 12 years of wait­ing). Time will tell.

Lar­naca has the gift of hav­ing a most ex­ten­sive beach es­pe­cially to the west at the Per­vo­lia/Ma­zo­tos/Ayios Theodoros area, which could be par­tially used for sports such as small sail­ing boat shel­ters, wind and kite surf­ing, foot­ball grounds/futsal, etc, whereas it seems that the long awaited golf course at Terse­fanou is up for sale by the Bank of Cyprus in the hope that it will be­come a re­al­ity (who knows).

Let’s keep our fin­gers crossed.

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