Investment in Larnaca booming

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Once lagging in urban development compared to the other cities, Larnaca is undertaking multimillion projects, says the town’s mayor and local economy stakeholders.

In comments to news site Stockwatch, Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras said the coastal town’s future looks brighter, as foreign investors are excited about its potential.

“New life is expected to be breathed into an area covering more than 3 square kilometres in eastern Larnaca as private development companies have drawn up their master plans, including multimillion projects,” said Vyras.

The Larnaca Mayor was referring to plans for new investments with upscale tourist projects destined on the Dhekelia coastal front, once occupied by fuel and gas storage tanks.

The largest property owner on Dhekelia Road, Petrolina Holdings, is exploring projects like holiday homes or hotels.

CSE-listed Petrolina Holdings set up a subsidiary company, Petrolina Bayfront, acquiring three plots from ExxonMobil on the Larnaca-Dhekelia road.

After dismantling their fuel tanks, Petrolina acquired ExxonMobil’s properties through a €30 mln deal, which they plan to incorporate in their bayfront property development.

Petrolina presented its plans for the area in April.

The development is a mixed-use complex, including a hotel, office space and residencies, entitled the “Land of Tomorrow”. The cost of the whole project is expected to exceed €1 bln.

Larnaca municipality will also contribute to the area’s development with infrastructure projects along the Larnaca – Dhekelia road.

“At the same time, western Larnaca is getting a facelift, as a municipal scheme to improve and restore the facades of houses on Piale Pasia Street will highlight the city’s traditional architecture and historical character”.

Vyras expressed his confidence that western Larnaca will get its share of the city’s ‘building frenzy’ currently taking off in the area of Mackenzie Beach.

Applications worth millions for hotels, apartment buildings, and mixed-use developments submitted by local businesspeople and foreign investors are pending before the municipal authorities.

The local Chamber of Commerce and Industry chair, Stavros Stavrou, said they were pleased with the plans for the suburbs but noted that the historical centre should not be left out.

“The heart of the city beats in the urban centre where the traditional character has been preserved.

“However, further improvement projects are needed to attract new businesses,” said Stavrou.

He added the area hosts several boutique hotels, which have boosted the town centre’s attractiveness.

Marina

Stavrou did express concern over the largest investment in the town’s infrastructure, the Larnaca Marina and port, noting that significant delays have been recorded.

“Local stakeholders have expressed concerns over when the project will take off, as heavy construction works have yet to start, despite contracts being awarded and signed in December 2020.”

Stavrou noted the company awarded the contract for the redevelopment of Larnaca marina and port Kition Ocean Holdings Ltd has played down concerns, reassuring stakeholders that the project is on track.

In an earlier comment to the media in July, the CEO of the Cypriot-Israeli consortium, Panos Alexandrou, said the redevelopment of the Larnaca marina and port will be in full swing from the beginning of 2024, with the €1.2 bln project taking shape.

“From the beginning of the year, the area around the marina will be a huge construction site,” said Alexandrou.

According to Alexandrou, the contractors will need four years to complete the work from the beginning of the project, estimated to generate around €12 bln for the government.

It will create 4,000 new jobs, calculating those directly tied to the marina operations and businesses that will open outlets in the commercial areas.

Reconstruction of the existing marina will accommodate 650 yachts and offer facilities such as boat repairs.

An upgraded Larnaca port will accommodate ships up to 450 metres in length, such as luxury cruise ships, energy exploration vessels, military, and other merchant ships.

The real estate is expected to include luxury hotels, apartment buildings, a convention centre, shopping malls, educational spaces, research auditoriums, a medical school, a tourism college and an environment and energy university.