Larnaca’s first super mall to create 1400 jobs
A South African investor planning to build Larnaca’s first shopping mall has accepted the terms set by the Larnaca municipality and is now pushing for red tape procedures to be fast-tracked for multi-million project.
Town Planning has given the green light and is now awaiting some additional documents from the South African company Acsion Ltd to proceed with the issuance of the building permit.
Construction of Metropolis Mall, estimated to cost some EUR 60 mln, is expected to start at the beginning of 2019 and to be completed within 18 months.
While Larnaca municipality has already pocketed some 100,000 euros from the various licenses, another EUR 2 mln is expected to find its way to municipality coffers as part of the deal with the South African developer.
The money will be given as a form of compensation by Acsion and it is to be used to revitalise the town’s commercial centre. Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras told the Financial Mirror that while the project will benefit Larnaca, the town’s commercial heart will, to some extent, be negatively affected as studies have shown.
Metropolis Mall, is to be built by the South African company on land belonging to the Church, covering an area of 33,000 sq.m, located behind the town’s military training camp (KEN) and opposite the parking lot of the new GSZ Stadium.
The mall is to host over 100 stores, a supermarket, a cinema, playgrounds as well as accommodate 1415 parking spaces.
The project is expected to attract thousands of locals and residents from surrounding villages, while as calculated by the investors, some 750 people will be employed during the construction phase of the project, and 1,400 positions will be created in stores to open within the mall.
Despite benefits created from the new mall for the town of Larnaca, the project does not come without its challenges for the area.
In earlier comments to the Financial Mirror, regarding effects the project is to have on the town centre, Vyras said that it is expected to also present a challenge for local authorities.
“Investments of this size always bring along positive effects, such as job opportunities and add value to the area. However, they do come with some challenges that we need to address. Such a big mall will of course put stress on local small to medium businesses,” said Vyras.
He said that municipal authorities will do all that they can to minimise the impact on local shopkeepers.
Vyras said that despite the challenges it presents, the Metropolis Mall has a role to play in the overall development of the town.
Apart from the Mall, the town is set to see significant development in almost all areas of life. While Larnaca is waiting for the Israeli consortium composed of Ampa Ltd and Israel Shipyards Ltd to submit its final financial proposal for development of the town’s port and Marina, a series of other projects are in the pipeline.
The port project envisages a 1,000-berth marina and port involving a development of up to 510,000 square metres but the Israeli investors are unhappy about the terms of the deal for a multi-complex site.
The consortium is expected to submit its final proposal in mid-November once an issue regarding bank guarantees is surpassed.
The municipality also has four projects worth EUR 13 mln which have begun or are to set to commence.
Vyras said that a total of 12 hotels are either being built or in the process of acquiring the necessary licenses.
Two of the hotels are to be built in the popular McKenzie area, while a five-star hotel is to be built on the Phinikoudes seafront by a Russian investor.
While the Mayor said the Town Hall is looking into the possibility of approving luxury high risers, Larnaca recently saw the opening of its first business-focused hotel – the Radisson Blu.