DESPITE THE global economic crisis, construction work on the €350 million Limassol Marina is continuing at a “staggering pace” while off-plan sales contracts of lu
xury residences integrated into the project have reached €55m so far.
According to the project’s public relations officer Sophia Paraskeva, the first yachts and residents are on schedule to arrive by the end of the year while those interested in securing one of the 650 berths will get their chance in two months time when berthing tariffs are finally released.
Limassol Marina Ltd released to the Cyprus Mail aerial photographs of the project, revealing for the first time the rate of progress on the ambitious project since the foundation stone was laid in September 2010.
“Construction work is continuing at a staggering pace, with the completion of the southeastern breakwater and land reclamation revealing the final formation of the groundbreaking project,” said Paraskeva.
“Construction of the villas on the west coast of the development is ongoing and land reclamation of the island in the heart of the Marina and at the tip of the peninsula is drawing to a close,” she added.
Construction on the buildings that will house the Marina administration, police, customs and excise is underway, while work is also ongoing on the internal road networks.
The marine training school, part of the restoration of Tracasol, a 200-year-old listed building within the integrated project, has been delivered. The cultural centre within the same building will also be completed within the year.
According to Paraskeva, the marina will be fully operational in less than six months while the 94 apartments and penthouses that make up the Nereids Residences will be delivered by November 2012 allowing the first residents to arrive at the same time as the first yachts. Forty per cent of Nereids Residences have been sold already through off-plan sales contracts.
The commercial area of the project - restaurants, cafes, high end boutiques and shops, cultural centre and 700-space car park will be completed in April 2013, connecting the long and winding Limassol sea front promenade to the marina via the old port.
The remainder of the apartments and villas, including a large number with their own private moorings, will be delivered in phases, with a final completion date for the end of 2014.
Asked whether the global crisis has had an impact on either investment or sales, Paraskeva said the project was going ahead as planned, with the Bank of Cyprus already providing €130m and the seven shareholders belonging to the joint venture providing the rest.
“Obviously, the crisis has affected the rate of sales but for the high-end properties in Limassol, there’s less of an impact because high-end individuals are less affected by the crisis,” she said.
In fact, one of the two largest villas within the Limassol Marina has just been sold off-plan for €13m, bringing to approximately €55m in registered sales in the last 14 months.
“That’s quite impressive, considering these sales are made off-plan. We’re quite satisfied,” said Paraskeva. Limassol Marina Ltd has leased the site for 125-years from the government as part of a Build-Design-Finance-Operate-Transfer scheme.
According to Paraskeva, anticipation for completion of the project is high and feedback from last year’s Yacht Shows in Dusseldorf, Monaco and Dubai was “positive”.
“We have a good mixture of buyers and a lot of support from the local market. The majority of buyers are permanent residents of Cyprus, many of whom are Russian or Cypriot,” she said.
Regarding the 650 berths on offer that provide for small yachts and super yachts up to 115 metres in length, around 800 yacht owners have so far registered an interest. Berth tariffs will be released w
ithin the next two months.
“We know there is a lack of berths in the Mediterranean for super yachts of over 35m-40m. The Marina can take up to 115m. Also, Cyprus has a long season because of the climate. The feeling we get is that there is a lot of anticipation for this project, particularly among captains and crew who are excited because it’s one of the few m
arinas actually situated in the centre of town,” said Paraskeva.A press release issued in March by Limassol Marina quotes property consultant at Knight Frank, James Price saying: “When considered in the wider European market context, Limassol Marina has actually been one of the very best ‘sellers’ in the last twelve months. For those projects still under construction offering ‘off-plan’ residences for sale, there are few that have booked the level of sales Limassol Marina has.”