With over 50 years’ in Real Estate Development, the CEO of Limassol Blu Marine brings together a wealth of experience from developing some of the island’s most recognized real estate destinations and turning vision to reality.
What attracted you to get involved with Limassol Blu Marine?
Through my entire carrier, I derived great satisfaction from developing landmark destinations out of thin air, and providing great lifestyle experiences and solid investment returns to my clients, a philosophy that is also deeply rooted within the Leptos Group DNA.
When we bought the land of Blu Marine with the Leptos Group back in 2008, Aktaia Odos was not even on paper and Limassol Marina was still at planning phase.
However real estate is about buying land and holding it until all pieces of the puzzle come together.
Today, all the pieces of the puzzle for Blu Marine have come together and create an explosive cocktail of real estate dynamics, that will define Limassol of the 21st Century.
- The Aktaia Odos Master Plan is approved by the Urban Planning Council
- The Limassol Marina is well in place
- Europe’s biggest integrated Casino Resort is about to operate next summer
- Dubai Cruise Terminal is already home port for some of the world’s biggest Cruise operators
- The only 18 hole professional Golf course within city limits is under construction
- The government just announced an exciting set of measures that will take headquartering and especially the Fintech industry and Cyprus as a regional IT hub to a new level.
Blu Marine is right in the Center of this puzzle or in the Center of Everything as we like to say and this is a great drive from me.
There is a lot of talk recently about Aktaia Odos Master Plan. Can you tell us a few things?
Absolutely, and it is not by coincidence that the Mayor of Limassol calls Aktaia Odos a City within a City and the head of the Ruling Party when referring to Aktaia Odos said thas this will be the most beautiful part of Limassol.
Aktaia Odos (seafront road in Greek) refers to the linear seafront park of 1.5 kilometers that will extend the existing Limassol seafront, (molos as it is widely known) to reach the multibillion worth infrastructure investments in West Limassol.
The area adjacent to Aktaia Odos, was the island’s power house in the 19th Century, when wine producing factories were based there. As they moved away and left large areas of prime seafront land unused, the municipality, saw a great potential to transform the area into the island’s power house for the 21st Century through “Urban Renewal”.
“Urban Renewal” is a world known practice and we have some great examples in the world’s biggest cities, like 22@Barcelona and Districte de la innovació, Canary Wharf in London and Moscow City in Moscow.
“Urban Renewal” areas are always within cities, by the water and become hubs for innovation and growth as they offer an ideal live, work and play environment.
Aktaia Odos has all the characteristics to become an exemplary example of “Urban Renewal”, hence the Urban Planning Council has already approved a master plan that includes:
- A linear seafront park for pedestrians and bicycles, a beach, plenty of green areas and open spaces to connect Limassol Marina and Downtown to the Dubai Cruise Terminal and the Integrated Casino and Golf Resorts.
- A mild traffic public transport road, a pioneering solution for “Urban Renewal” as the world steers away from polluting infrastructure and into a zero carbon emissions economies.
With the above master plan, the municipality aims to cover the gap in supply for residential, touristic, entertainment and office space in Downtown and West Limassol, which will result from:
- The ongoing growth of the fintech and shipping industries on the island which will be accelerated by the recently announced government initiatives to attract highly qualified employs from 3rd countries.
- The triple digit growth of Limassol’s tourism as a result of the Dubai Cruise Terminal and the Integrated Casino and Golf Resorts.
- The influx of 30,000 new families and 20,000 new employs as forecasted in the recent study for sustainable mobility in Limassol.
So how does Blu Marine offering fit in Aktaia Odos Master plan as a regional fintech innovation and tourism hotspot
Blu Marine offers Grade A office space, luxury seafront residences with hotel style facilities and services and an exciting seafront food and beverage space.
Status Tower, the Blu Marine’s office component on Franklin Rousvelt street, was the first part of the development to sell and will play center stage in the areas development as a fintech innovation hub.
The 3 sea-facing towers offer luxury residential and office space, with hotel style facilities and services which have dual functionality:
- Cater for the needs of the city’s increasing number of HNWI, non-dom tax residents, and IT entrepreneurs and professionals. These people are usually looking for fully serviced living premises, with direct unobstructed sea-views in a premium vibrant seafront locations.
- Provide a high-end alternative for short term accommodation in the absence of any hotels nearby for the hundreds of thousands of tourists that will visit the integrated Casino & Golf Resorts, and come to Cyprus to embark on one of the cruises offered through the Dubai Cruise terminal.
Last, we have the seafront restaurant right on Aktaia Odos, by the sea.
Aktaia Odos, just like the existing seafront promenade (molos), is expected to attract the biggest footfall in Cyprus. Just picture this.
- A cruise ship that arrives can carry over 5,000 people. These people will walk down Aktaia Odos to Limassol Downtown and the Marina and look for
- The integrated casino resort, will feature 10,000 sqm of space for conferences and events (MICE industry), which is probably more than the space that all of the island’s hotels have combined. Participants in these events are not only about the Casino, but also like to explore the cities they visit and Aktaia Odos seafront promenade will definitely by a highlight amongst this group.
The future of Limassol and in particular West Limassol looks brighter than ever. What further developments does the Leptos Group offer in the area
West Limassol was destined to grow as a counterweight to East Limassol due to its ease of access to the city center, the lower land prices, the green surroundings and lower building densities and the amazing sandy beach of Lady’s Mile which by the way is undergoing a major revamp next year.
The infrastructure investments of the Casino, the Golf, the Cruise terminal, the Mall, the new port road to the high-way and of course Aktaia Odos master plan will act as major catalysts and drive the development of the area at an unprecedented rate for Cyprus.
Again Leptos seeing this potential invested in land near the Casino and the Golf course, where we are now developing our Limassol Park based on the very successful concept of the Leptos Resort Residences that the Group has been developing in Paphos the last 40 years. The main difference with other developments in Limassol is the large open green spaces, the landscaped gardens and other facilities within these communities, which are fully managed and serviced by the Leptos property and rental (short & long term) management services.
We also have 2 more developments, in the area of Souni-Zanatzia, where focus is on individual villas at affordable prices, on private plots, away from the hassle and bustle of the city, but still within good proximity. Indicatively, the cost of a 3 bedroom villa in a large plot is well below the cost of even a 2 bedroom apartment in East Limassol.
Last question on Limassol Blu Marine. How is the construction moving on and by when do you expect delivery
The office component (Status Tower) is now well above ground and anyone passing from Franklin Rousvelt Street can observe the building gaining height by the day.
For the residential component, the contractor (Iacovou-Zemoc JV) has been onsite now for 2 months and by early next month we will cast the base. By next spring we expect to be at 1st floor level and by September 2023 we shall have half of the shell done. Delivery is scheduled for Spring 2024.