By Antonis Loizou FRICS
SOMETHING is changing in Larnaca with many projects underway both of the public as well as the private sector. What is noticeable is the “renovation” of the old city extending from the coastal line up to Gregoris Afxentiou avenue and from Makenzy beach to the gas installations.
At long last there are a couple of potential suiters for the Larnaca port/marina, but there are problems requiring the Larnaca operator to pay some sort of compensation to the Limassol port operator. We understand that this is not a large amount, but rather than losing the long awaited foreign investors, better that the government undertake the burden (estimated to be around €100.000 p.a.).
There are six new small boutique hotels recently erected, which coupled with the Ayios Lazaros square and the renovation of old buildings and including the new Municipal market will add to the old town’s popularity.
The troubled Phoenicoudes hotel and shopping center seems to have its problems on the way to being resolved but it is a project that even when the legal tangles between the investor and Municipality are over its operation/completion will not become true prior to the lapse of four years.
The Radisson Blu hotel and the new skyscraper at Makarios Avenue across the road from the marina will add an air of glamour to the town, as well the other projects at the Makenzy fishing harbour that are now underway.
Makenzy beach is still in a mess regarding the legal occupation issues, but notwithstanding these, it is becoming more and more popular both with tourists and Nicosia families.
The Larnaca Shopping Mall is also under consideration/expecting permits and this will also help to add a cosmopolitan development for both Larnaca and the suburbs.
The recent decision to remove the fuel storage tanks is a major issue for the town. We understand that the extended beach area will be (should be) zoned for high rise office and apartment developments which are nowhere to be found in the seaside area of the town. A lot of work is required and nothing is likely to come to fruition earlier than five to six years.
The town has not become the subject of high end sales and demand for real estate is forthcoming mainly from the lower end budgets, mainly apartments in the region of €100,000-€250,000 forthcoming mainly from the Lebanese/Libyan nationals, whereas Nicosia buyers show now an interest for units near the beach. Demand is also being shown for residential plots with a high building density (over 140%) for apartment development.
There are many ifs and buts regarding Larnaca’s development but at least it is moving in the right direction. It seems new Mayor Andreas Vyras has the prerequisites for good management and success as long as he can ‘deliver’.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.