A new era for Larnaca?
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.