The new Limassol Marina will put Cyprus on the nautical yachting map and upgrade the calibre of tourism on the island, says Limassol Marina General Manager Takis Palekythritis.
There has been a lot of international attention about Cyprus’ first luxury marina development. Could you give us a brief overview of the Limassol Marina project and its key stakeholders?
Limassol Marina is an integrated project and one of few in the world, which combines elegant residences, a 650 berth marina for yachts up to 115m in length and an enticing shopping and dining area. Just a stone’s throw away from the heart of the city, it lies at the tail end of a 17km seafront promenade and in close proximity to the medieval castle. We are creating a lifestyle uniquely shaped by living on the sea. With only 245 exclusive residences, owners can choose between luxury apartments with uninterrupted sea views or villas with private berths for yachts up to 60m or direct access to the beach.
The company bringing this prestigious project to fruition is Limassol Marina Ltd, a group of developers, construction companies and investors, whose specialist knowledge and proven experience guarantees the success of Limassol Marina. The shareholders of Limassol Marina Ltd are: Cybarco Limited, J&P-Avax S.A., Joannou & Paraskevaides Ltd, Francoudi & Stephanou Ltd, Athena S.A., CADS Holdings Ltd and Limassol Marina Development Company Ltd.
Limassol Marina is said to become one of the most exclusive resorts in the Mediterranean. What sets it apart from other marinas and why should people choose Cyprus over other locations?
When you look at marinas in general they can often be found in remote areas with plenty to do when cruising, but not enough to offer captains, crew and owners once anchored at their home port. We feel Limassol Marina is bringing something new to the table at a time when waterfront living is highly sought after and berths, particularly for super yachts, are scarce and therefore in demand.
Limassol Marina is the only new development in the Mediterranean providing private berths for yachts up to 60m directly attached to exclusive residences within a luxury master plan development. The combination of living and sailing offers a new lifestyle and truly sets us apart from most other marinas. It is unique in its concept, design and location, offering direct access to the centre of an international city.
How significant will the Limassol Marina development be for Cyprus and why? How has the development been received locally?
Limassol Marina is set to firmly position Cyprus on the nautical yachting map, something long overdue for an island in such a fantastic location. For decades now, Cyprus has been a destination of choice for many people thanks to its beautiful beaches, predictable warm climate, friendly people, culture and history. Located at the crossroads of three continents, it boasts a relaxed pace of life and high standard of living. The development of the project will upgrade, and in turn improve, the calibre of the island’s tourism product. The strength of our economy lies in the services sector therefore improving our tourism offering, with the development of large scale projects such as Limassol Marina and the many golf courses now available within its reach, is essential. In parallel to the construction of the Marina, the Limassol Municipality has also undertaken other infrastructure projects to upgrade the surrounding area, leading to the revival of the old part of town and to investments in the area. Limassol Marina will be the new focal point of the city – a thriving hub with a pedestrian promenade, restaurants, shops, boutiques, a spa, cultural centre, yacht club, parking facilities and exclusive properties, all with views of the Marina and the sea. The local community has embraced the project since the very beginning and is looking forward to enjoying its unique environment.
Could you tell us about the team of architects and engineers who are working on Limassol Marina and why their designs were chosen?
Limassol Marina was designed by Sogreah Cyprus Ltd, A. F. Modinos & S. A. Vrahimis architects and engineers joint venture, in association with Atelier Xavier Bohl. The design team’s attention to detail and profound respect for the local community was something of huge value to us. They wanted to create an extension of the old traditional part of town – something aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive. They spent hours walking around the historical centre of Limassol taking photos of the old buildings and architecture to ensure the project would blend seamlessly with the surroundings.
What are your target demographics and countries in regards to buyers and investors?
Limassol Marina offers a unique product and appeals to different target markets due to the nature of its design. Combining elements such as yachting, living and business in the heart of a cosmopolitan city, it aims to entice individuals or investors who are seeking a diverse lifestyle, in a sunny and warm country. They may be looking for a secure environment for themselves and their families in a happening destination, which is easily accessible and paves the way to the yachting world. They may simply want to be a part of the exclusive environment on offer for a mere 245 residential owners. We offer the combination of living on the sea in a safe and thriving environment, which facilitates integration and offers ample opportunities for the entire family. Europeans and Russians are our main market. We are also targeting the Middle East to grow on our existing relationships and take advantage of the proximity from a sailing and living perspective. China is a new market, expressing increased interest in properties in Cyprus.
How successful have you been in terms of property sales? Where do the majority of buyers originate from so far?
Contracts in excess of 70 million euro have already been signed for the residences at Limassol Marina with more reservations pending confirmation. At least half of the buyers at present are locals. This is very positive as it reflects their trust in the companies behind the project. Seeing the local community respond favourably puts a stamp of approval on the work we have done to date. The rest of the sales have primarily come from Russia and the Middle East.
Has the current economic climate in Cyprus and abroad affected the Limassol Marina development in any way?
Limassol Marina is still under construction, with the first yachts and residents arriving towards the end of 2012. As you can imagine, the current climate certainly slowed the pace and rate of sales on off-plan properties - but the high end of the market, particularly the waterfront developments, is still moving and we are very pleased with our sales to date. Knight Frank did a recent residential market report on Cyprus and found that unique projects on the island are still performing well. And when considered in the wider European market context, Limassol Marina has actually been one of the best sellers in the last year.
What are the key differences between the Limassol Marina project and the planned Larnaca Marina development? Are the two competitors or do they target different buyers?
The two projects are very different in their concept and design. They do, however, complement each other. In essence, every marina needs others within proximity in order to attract yachts and offer cruising grounds with bays and ports along the way for anchorage. We welcome the development of all new marinas on the south coast and are looking forward to adding to the list of attractions on the island as a whole.
The Limassol Marina is a significant project, what has been particularly challenging in creating this development?
The biggest challenge was to create a unique project, one which would set us apart from the competition and give the Cypriot tourism product a fresh identity. The timely delivery of all aspects of the development, sticking to deadlines and working around the clock to ensure construction is on schedule has also been a priority.
What do you find especially exciting about this marina development?
Welcoming yachts, residents, visitors and locals to the end product is by far the most exciting outcome of a project of this scale. The impact Limassol Marina will have on our island is significant and we are all very much looking forward to seeing this project through and witnessing the continual transformation it is bringing to the city of Limassol. It has been quite incredible watching the coastline change and seeing the project come to life from day one.
What message would you like to send to the readers of Cyprus Profile?
We are looking forward to being able to welcome the first yachts, residents and visitors to Limassol Marina – with ample attractions to offer on site, in and around Limassol and on the island of Cyprus, we are confident everyone will benefit from the development of this unique project.
Takis Palekythritis graduated as a Civil Engineer from The National Technical University in Athens (NTUA) and obtained his MBA at Sheffield University in the UK. He joined Cybarco Limited in 1992 and was appointed General Manager of Limassol Marina Ltd in 2008.