Cyprus Mail

Planned expansion to Mall of Cyprus ‘will boost economy’

By Contantinos Psillides
The company behind the Mall of Cyprus said on Tuesday its planned expansion would be a boost to the economy and serve the public interest.
ITTL was responding to criticism by the Technical Chamber of Cyprus (ETEK) of its application for a licence to expand the current size of the mall.
ITTL said the impact on local businesses will be minimal. “The city centre is now full of life. More than 300 new stores opened up over the last few years. The Mall will not hurt these businesses, which incidentally was the conclusion RAI consultants came to when carrying out a Commercial Consequence study for one of their clients, in 2014,” ITTL said.
In an open letter earlier this month, ETEK said allowing the company to build an extension would go against Nicosia’s master plan. “Our position was and always will be that town planning guidelines and regulations should be strictly adhered to, especially when it comes to constructions of this magnitude,” said ETEK.
ETEK echoed the Nicosia municipality, which objects to the expansion of the Mall, claiming that it will hurt local businesses.
ITTL said expanding the Mall would result in around 300 new jobs and a €25 million investment that will stimulate the “ailing economy.”
“The public interest is well served by the new expansion. In addition, our experts have concluded that the expansion is within the scope of the master plan, which is also the opinion of the Town Planning Department,” ITTL said.
ITTL said that ETEK had “nothing to say” about the now stalled mall in Lakatamia, which is 70 per cent larger than the Mall of Cyprus.
ITTL has filed for an expansion permit to build an additional 5,000 square metres to be used as commercial space, parking areas, and a cultural centre, at a cost of €25 million.
The Nicosia municipality raised a formal objection during a council-organised public consultation, citing the Nicosia master plan, which includes provisions aimed at incentivising the “growth of the city centre”.
A final recommendation about the expansion will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers, which will issue a final ruling.

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