/

A new era for Larnaca

2949 views
2 mins read

Something is changing in Larnaca, with many projects going on in the public and private sectors.

What is noticeable is the ongoing “renovation” of the old town extending from the coastal line to Gregori Afxentiou Avenue and from the Makenzie beach area to the former gas installations.

The Larnaca marina/new port is underway, and although this is a long-term project, it has shown the town’s potential and attraction, whereas the operator’s international contacts are a major plus in promoting the town.

Six new boutique hotels recently erected, including those underway, coupled with the Ayios Lazaros square and renovating old buildings and the new Municipal market, will add to the old town’s popularity.

The renovation of the Radisson hotels and the new ones announced along the Dhekelia road will add to the town’s attraction.

The troubled Phinikoudes hotel and the original shopping centre seem to have problems, but they are on the way to being resolved.

It is a project that even when the legal tangles between the investor and municipality are bypassed, its operation and completion will not come true for at least four years.

The Chinese investor hotel [Radisson Blu] and the new skyscraper at Makarios Avenue across the road from the marina will add glamour to the town and other projects at the Mackenzie fishing harbour area.

The Mackenzie beach is still in a mess regarding the legal occupation issues, but notwithstanding these, it is becoming more popular, especially by Nicosia families, with its extended beach, ample space to play and numerous entertainment places.

The Larnaca Shopping Mall project has added to the reduction in the traditional commercial area activity.

The recent removal of the former gas and fuel installations and the storage tanks is a major issue for the town.

I understand the extended beach area will be zoned for high-rise office and apartment developments, which are nowhere to be found in the seaside area of the town.

A lot of work is required, and I do not place the time benefit of this to be earlier than 5-6 years.

The town has not become the subject of high-end sales, and demand for real estate is forthcoming mainly from the lower budgets, mainly apartments in the region of €2,500-2,800 sqm.

New ones not on the beach are forthcoming mainly from the Lebanese/Libyan/Israeli nationals, whereas Nicosia buyers show interest in near-beach units.

Demand for the Airbnb-villa-to-let is also a case for income which show increased demand.

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

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

There are many ifs and buts regarding Larnaca town development, but at least something is moving in the right direction, whereas as I have mentioned before, Larnaca has a problem with its citizens, as opposed to Limassol, whose residents act as one, and they know what they want.

It seems the Mayor has the prerequisites for good management and success as long as he can deliver.

The always objecting small groups on any development for the town  (such as the Dhekelia road, which is held back yet again after 16 years of waiting) is a problem to note.

The recent demand upsurge has placed high hopes for developers and estate agents.

For example, we manage shops in the old commercial part of the city; we offer the shops to let at €550/pm offers come in for €650/pm.

A more imaginative investor offered to buy out all the shops and pay any compensation to the tenants.

In such cases, an obstacle to any new development is the archaic law of statutory tenants, which restricts repossession and redevelopment and frustrates any future development.

Larnaca has the gift of having a most extensive beach, especially 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 pitches, whereas it seems the long-awaited golf course at Tersefanou is up for sale by the Bank of Cyprus in the hope that it will materialise.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

 

By Antonis Loizou F.R.I.C.S. – Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Property Valuers, Property Consultants & Estate Agents