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Larnaca port and marina must be concluded “at all cost”

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Projects worth €100 mln over the next few years

 

Positive messages about the prospects of Larnaca and the certainty that the development of the port and marina will be completed at all cost, was the conclusion of the “Larnaka Property Show 2024” organised by FMW Conferences.

More than 20 speakers referred to Larnaca’s development prospects, the new projects being planned, the coastal town’s competitiveness in the real estate sector and its attractiveness to foreign investors.

In his address, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that the state aims to energise the real estate sector in order to create affordable housing for all income groups, through the continuation of incentives to increase the maximum building coefficient.

Ioannou’s speech, read out by Lena Zachariou of the Larnaca Town Planning Department, referred to the increase of the total buildable area of the development, which is foreseen to create additional residential units for disposal for community purposes, and in parallel with this action to encourage the creation of new options in the construction sector and related jobs.

Referring to the recent approval by the Council of Ministers of the bill for the facilitation of large and strategic developments, which simplifies and speeds up the licensing procedures for large and strategic developments, the minister said that “through this particular bill, the state seeks to define a regulated urban planning and building framework for rapid licensing of a development, within a period of one year, in a modernised one-stop-shop framework, thus freeing the service of foreign and local investors from delays and bureaucratic inefficiencies”.

Larnaca Chamber President Nakis Antoniou referred to the unified development of the port and marina and praised, “the commitment of the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Alexis Vafeadis that the project will be done one way or the other. The development of our city will not stop here, but will continue with the creation of the great project of the port and marina.”

Also referring to the reconstruction of the port and the marina, Mayor Andreas Vyras emphasised that despite any problems, this will be completed one way or the other and added that in the coming years projects with a total value of 100 million euros are planned in Larnaca.

Dinos Lefkaritis, Chairman of the Larnaca Tourism Promotion Board, said that tourism in the town and the district is on a significant development path, since arrivals in the last six years have increased by approximately 100,000, while the region’s share has also increased to 12.1%. During this time, 15 new hotel units were opened in the town and along the tourist area of Larnaca, with a total capacity of 1,472 beds, international chains such as Radisson, Intercontinental, Best Western and Accor were successfully attracted, while within the city limits, at least 25 applications have been submitted for new units.

Michalis Tiniozou, Regional Director at the Bank of Cyprus, main sponsors of the conference, said that the development path of the town is reflected in the data from the land registry department, according to which in 2023 the volume of transactions recorded an increase of 22%, while in the first quarter of 2024 sales closed with a positive sign, registering an increase of 6% on an annual basis, with half of the 723 sales going to foreign buyers.

Rents tripled since 2019

Warning that any delay in the development of the marina and port could have negative repercussions on the general development of the town, Panos Danos, CEO of Danos Real Estate said that Larnaca has enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years.

He presented rental data, showing that in some areas these have tripled from 2019.

Danos said that the rent in Larnaca for a one bedroom apartment is between €450 and €550. Two bedroom apartments cost from €550 to €650, while the rent for a three bedroom apartment is from €750 to €850.

Andreas Lefkaritis, head of sales at the Petrolina Group that is developing the coastal “Larnaca Land of Tomorrow” mixed-use project worth 1 bln euros, said that the company after dismantling the oil facilities ended up with 450,000 square meters, on the Dhekelia road seafront, stretching 2.5 kilometers.

“Immediately, an internal team of four managers was set up within the Group with the aim of proceeding with a plan to utilise the specific area.”

“It will be an extension of the city of Larnaca and will be consistent with its character”.

“The three pillars of the project are the community, greenery and the sea,” he said.

On behalf of the Patroklos Group, Andreas Georgiou referred to the prospects of Larnaca, but also touched on negative points that affect the land development companies. He said there is a lot of bureaucracy in the licensing of projects, refusal of the banking system to respond to business plans and confusion regarding how everyone wants Larnaca to develop.

Georgiou said that the Patroklos Group is constantly growing and has projects in many areas of Larnaca and Crete. As he explained, “the Group’s plans in the coming years are very ambitious and we will achieve them.”

The deputy managing director of the Quality Group, Iraklis Zavos, referred to a large project promoted by the group, “Q City Oasis” on Spyros Kyprianou Avenue, next to Petraki Kyprianou high school.

He said, “it will offer urban innovative development with various residential, commercial and communal uses, luxury apartments, multiple parks, playgrounds, restaurants, gyms, cafes and wellness centres.”