Cyprus remains a prime investment destination

3 mins read

Cyprus remains a prime destination for investors eyeing lucrative deals in the real estate sector, as the island offers a variety of investment opportunities for both local and foreign investors, according to a leading real estate company.

The biggest opportunity at the moment is on the south east coast, in Larnaca, as the government moves to plan B to rescue the €1.2 billion marina and port project, according to Danos International Property Consultants & Valuers.

Following the loss of trust which led to a complete breakdown in communication between the contractor Kition Ocean Holdings and the government, termination of the contract was deemed inevitable.

The government has since then regained control of the port and marina and is now actively seeking new investors to complete this ambitious project.

Following completion, the revamped port and marina was expected to become a main entrance port for Cyprus, but would have also boosted local tourism and economy.

The project was estimated to generate around €12 bln for the government.

It was to 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 would accommodate 650 yachts and offer facilities such as boat repairs.

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

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

Larnaca has witnessed a development boom in recent years with foreign investors’ interest as the city’s municipal authorities have received no less than 25 applications for building permits for hotel projects.

Forgotten gems

The island’s cities also have forgotten gems, waiting to regain their shine. One such gem is the once buzzing City Plaza shopping centre in the capital.

It has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the best-known commercial buildings in Nicosia.

Today this urban architectural icon is waiting for investors to make a move, as the property gains new value with Cyfield’s 360 tower across the street and the facelift of the Makariou Avenue, upon which it is situated.

The property presents investors with a plethora of high-yield development opportunities. It can be revitalised as a retail department store or transformed into an office building, offering flexible floor layouts for various configurations or serviced offices.

Additionally, it can be developed into a mixed-use hub, combining shops and offices. The building’s distinctive sunken courtyard holds potential to be repurposed as an attractive Food and Beverage court.

The property, strategically located in the heart of the capital in the Trypiotis area of Makarios avenue – the most central and commercial thoroughfare of the city, has been on the market since 2022 after being acquired by its current owners.

City Plaza comprises four floors, with individual units arranged around perimeter walkways, linked by vertical circulation and overlooking a majestic central courtyard.

With a total covered area of 4,669 sq.m., the first three floors of the building feature 19 shops each with an internal area ranging from 778 to 943 sq.m., the top floor of the building is a united lot without any partitions and an approximate covered area of 1,232 sq.m.

City Plaza is part of the ”Nicosia Local Plan” and according to the incentives offered, the building coefficient could increase from the current 250% to 425%, as outlined in the “Nicosia Centre Area Plan 2016” and the “Incentive Plan 2016-2019 (for parking spaces for public use)”.

Health Care

On Wednesday, the Hellenic Healthcare Group (HHG), owner and operator of nine leading private hospitals in Greece and Cyprus, said it has added the American Medical Center and the American Heart Institute in Nicosia to its portfolio healthcare facilities and services.

The AMC, originally founded as the ‘American Heart’ in 1999 and later expanded to become a full-service hospital, joins HHG members in Nicosia, the Apollonion Hospital and the Aretaio Hospital, both of which are part of the state-funded General Health System (GHS).

At the same time, investors have taken a keen interest in Cyprus’s health sector. Records show that since 2021, twelve new private hospitals have been seeking licenses to establish and operate in Cyprus. Some have already secured establishment licenses and are now working towards obtaining operating licenses.

The introduction of the General Health System (GHS) on June 1, 2019, has significantly boosted the health sector in Cyprus.

Opportunities lost

Danos International Property Consultants and Valuers had previously worked on a project in 2018 to transform the old Larnaca airport area into an airport city.

Plans included a hotel, conference centre, shopping mall and exhibition spaces for logistics.

This project was presented at major real estate exhibitions and conferences like MIPIM in Cannes, attracting significant interest from investors, including Marriott Hotels and various logistics companies.

However, the project encountered a hurdle when the government did not agree to a different timeline for implementation than that offered to Hermes Airport operators.

The take-away is that the island still has a lot more to offer investors in these uncertain times, helping the Mediterranean island to push back the negative effects of the war in Ukraine, the Middle East and inflation.