Two new Limassol malls enter licensing "battle"

Questions are being raised about the two new malls now in the works in Limassol, as the procedures to secure the required permits and approvals come into full swing.

On the one hand Atterbury Europe and on the other Nicosia Mall in collaboration with the Papantoniou group announced their expansion plans in Limassol, within the municipalities of Mesa Geitonia and Agios Athanasios respectively.

The two new malls in east Limassol are located very close to each other, raising reasonable questions as to whether approval will be given for both developments and whether the market in question can withstand two shopping centres of similar scope and dynamics within a few metres of each other.

The traffic chaos

According to information obtained by InBusinessNews, the two malls, which have submitted almost identical permit applications, are each running the procedures to secure approvals from the competent authorities. Both projects will require environmental and traffic studies, as well as the creation of supporting infrastructure – particularly in the road network. It is noted that the area already has a traffic problem.

The role of the local administration authorities

Key to the licensing and promotion of the two new malls is securing the planning permission. The upcoming local (municipal/community) elections and the establishment of District Administration Offices (DAOs) under the local government reform, may shake things up. However, so far, it has not been made clear whether the approval of such large-scale developments will remain under the jurisdiction of the Department of Town Planning and Housing.

The size and type of major developments such as universities, hospitals, wind farms, shopping malls and other high-profile projects that will continue to be licensed by the Town Planning Authority rather than the DAOs will be determined in a decree issued by the Ministry of Interior before 1 July 2024.

Strategic investments are not retroactive

The ministry has submitted three draft regulations to parliament for approval, which aim is to improve the efficiency of the law for facilitating strategic investments. According to these, in order for a development to be classified as a strategic development project, its minimum investment amount should be €25m, of which at least 75% comes from primary funds, while the should create at least 80 new permanent jobs or 50 permanent jobs with an annual salary in the Republic of more than €2m.

In the case of the two new malls in Limassol, even though they do classify as projects of strategic importance due to the amount of investment and the creation of new jobs, the legislation will not have retroactive effect and will not cover applications that have been submitted before its adoption and implementation.

Nicosia Mall – Papantoniou Group in eastern Limassol

Nicosia Mall and Papantoniou Group are planning a modern mall in eastern Limassol. It will be located within the commercial and industrial zone by the Jumbo store, within the Ayios Athanasios Municipality. The investment is in the range of €120m and is expected to create 1,000 new jobs. It will follow the same format as Nicosia Mall, with three floors and around 105 shops, with construction work expected to begin in the second half of 2024. There are some other big names in this venture, such as Zorbas, PHC, Athienitis and VLM (Voici la Mode Group of Companies).

Atterbury Europe

The reasoning behind Atterbury Europe’s new investment – the Mall of Limassol – is to fill a market gap for luxury brands, but also create a bridge between the old and new, as it will be built in Mesa Geitonia, Limassol’s old town.

Owner of the Mall of Cyprus and Mall of Engomi, Atterbury Europe sees huge untapped potential in Limassol, with its CEO Henk Deist stating recently that the town’s upmarket retail is spread out across the town’s entire high street and it is in need of a single location offering a unique shopping experience. It is noted that Atterbury Europe had previously been in discussions with Papantoniou Group to build the mall on plots of land owned by the latter. However, their plans fell through and the company found a new location, which is more suited to its plans.

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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