By Bejay Browne
AS THE latest jobless figures were unveiled yesterday showing that 48,000 people were now unemployed, Paphos, which has been hardest hit, is hoping that opening the biggest mall in Cyprus will breathe new life into the ailing coastal town.
The landmark project – Kings Avenue Mall – costing over €110 million to build is on track to open in by the end of October, creating hundreds of jobs in the process.
“The new mall will be the largest in Cyprus and it will also be a complete destination, allowing people to spend the entire day there, as it will contain absolutely everything, ”business development manager for the project, Socrates Georgiades told the Cyprus Mail.
The state-of-the art building is being developed by a joint venture, Athiari Commercial Ltd (Paphos) and is one of the largest commercial developments ever to be built on the island.
Georgiades said that the total investment would exceed €110 million and the mall would serve as the ‘ultimate shopping experience.’
“Paphos is lacking in infrastructure and shops and outlets are spread out all over the place. In addition, it’s hard to find places to park. At the new mall everything will be under one roof and there will also be enough underground parking spaces for 1,250 vehicles,” he said.
The project comprises two underground parking areas situated in the basement of the modern architectural designed building and two floors for shopping, leisure, entertainment and other services.
On the ground floor there will be several department stores, banks, fashion stores for men and women, a supermarket, and a toy and homeware store. On the first floor there will be additional clothing shops, including those for children, and sportswear. There will also be shops selling, cosmetics, toys, gifts, jewellery, lingerie, fashion accessories, electronics, multimedia and optical products. In addition, there will be a mini market, a beauty salon and more.
“There will be three full service restaurants, including TGI Friday’s, Wagamama and Pizza Hut. There will be eight different fast food concepts and two cafes. There will be both indoor and outdoor seating areas and a covered verandah,” said Georgiades.
Entertainment will be provided by six state-of-the-art cinemas, a video arcade and a kids’ play-place (indoor and outdoor).
“In the underground parking areas, there will be service shops, such as: dry cleaning, shoe repairs, keys shop, tailoring and a flower shop.”
The building is 103,000 m2 and Georgiades says the net area available to be let would be 28,000 m2.The covered area- excluding the basement- is 41,000 m2, and all of the parking places are covered.
“The idea is to try to bring to Paphos the best services and products available to the Cypriot market, this is something lacking in Paphos, and what is there now is too spread out. Tourists will be able to walk from the harbour, for example, spend the day at the mall before returning to the harbour to continue their evening.”
The business development manager said that the location for the project was ideal, as it is only a few hundred metres from the harbour, and numerous hotels and apartments.
“Approximately 100,000 residents of the region of Paphos and 800.000 tourists annually will have easy access. Also, especially during summer time, there will be a significant number of visitors coming from other areas of the island,” said Georgiades.
He said once people parked their cars, they need not move for the entire day.
Georgiades added that for nine months of the year the mall will be accessible for extended hours, using the ‘tourist’ timetable for opening hours.
“We will be open from 10am until 10pm every day with the exception of the months of January, February and March when we will be open for the same hours as other shops.”
“We have a large number of crews working around the clock at the site at present to ensure that it is completed on time. We are about to install the roof which will enable the acceleration of the interior design. The project is due for completion at the end of October, plus or minus fifteen days.”
Stores due to open at the Kings Mall include: Zara, Zara Home, Jumbo, Bershka, Stradivarius, Lacoste, Swarovski, Pull and Bear, Beauty Line, Public and many more.