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Old Nicosia has a lot going for it

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The recent decision to convert the historical school of Phaneromeni into an architecture school of the University of Cyprus has brought a lot of hope for Nicosia’s revitalisation within the walls.

Some object to this, but the vast majority, including the Municipality of Nicosia, the government, residents, the Archbishopric, and other groups, are all for it.

This recent announcement has caused the attraction of property investors to take a closer look at the potential this new school of architecture will bring.

The school’s location will bring increased numbers of young students [250] within the walled city; simultaneously, various groups are already considering creating student halls to accommodate the expected demand.

How the Technical School (TEPAK), located in Limassol, has turned around the up-until-then abandoned centre of the old town to a vibrant market is a case in hand.

Although the Phaneromeni project is not near the beach (as TEPAK), it is very close to the recently completed Eleftheria Square, which in addition to the architectural attraction, is set to become a centre where all sorts of functions can take place.

The square finished and restructuring of Costakis Pantelides/Rigenis streets, the Makarios/ Evagorou/ Stassikratous triangle (almost completed), as well as the pending renovation of the old Holiday Inn hotel, the City Hotel, as well as several boutique hotels now under development on the periphery, bring new hope in the viability of the old quarter, both in terms of commerce, and the improvement of living conditions.

Old Nicosia has great potential for improvement, and it can become an attraction for local and foreign visitors since it hosts several small museums, attractive restaurants/cafes.

Moreover, the recent completion of the new Town Hall building, the Stoa project, and the Old Market (to become a centre for innovative business) will add to people returning to live there.

These new and pending other developments have attracted property developers and investors, who, together with the recently announced financial help and building regulation relaxations, make such investments worth looking into.

As an example, a very recent sale (contracts are yet to be signed) of an acquisition of a run-down building of 10 small apartments for conversion into student halls is a case in hand (as is the old Lyssarides Apartments on K. Paleologou street, which is under renovation/conversion).

Unlike Limassol, the new school is situated at a distance from the main University of Cyprus campus. Still, the Municipality has undertaken small buses for cheap/easy transportation, whereas small bikes widely used is another option.

Because “one thing brings another”, we expect locals to return to the old town as a permanent residential area and small business in terms of offices (see Lordos family home and architectural office and so on).

It will also follow with the renovation of existing run-down buildings.

Old Nicosia has a lot going on for it.

Considering the old football stadium (GSP) is to be converted into a large park/square, the pending Cyprus Museum (unknown date of completion) are infrastructural projects that will help.

Old Nicosia will become unrecognisable in a few years.