Anthony Loizou, FRICS
After an initial visit to the central Paphos area which was being rebuilt in 2016, we visited the project again during the Christmas holidays.
Admittedly, very good efforts have been made and this central part has been transformed into a very attractive architectural site, although it is not yet completed. It is easy to imagine how this might develop.
Building a project is one thing, but its economic success is another. Therefore, we noted with disappointment that the commercial properties of the project are approximately 80 percent empty, and many properties are offered for rent, and the number of visitors is almost non-existent.
During 2016, we presented our opinion that the project should have a project manager who will oversee the commercial success of the project, apart from administration. He must prepare a brochure in which the units will be registered, indicating the square meters and the amenities provided for each of them. We said that the project manager should appoint two independent appraisers who will determine the market rent and present it to the registered owners for discussion. What else will help:
1) Organization of public events, which should be aimed at promoting the project and representing the city of Paphos as a whole.
2) Appeal to well-known names in the local market active in other cities, and newcomers (with special attention to Pafian enterprises) should be encouraged to participate. Encourage the creation of a retail discounter at low prices (similar to the new shopping center in Kokkinotrimitia).
3) The municipality is exempt from municipal taxes for two years from the restart date.
4) Organization, in agreement with hotels and tour operators, as well as public transport buses, scheduled visits to the site, say, three times a day, at reduced rates.
5) Establishment of open spaces with a clear demarcation of who will use them to place goods or tables (for a fee).
6) Keeping constant and regular advertising and promotion of the project on local TV and in the press, as well as in international media such as YouTube, Internet, etc., on the lines of the harbor of Chania in Crete with artists, music / dance schools, it is recommended to use common areas.
7) Clarification of the situation with the ownership of Turkish Cyprus and the status of the tenants in case of their return and claim back their property.
8) Preparation of a website where all actions will be recorded.
The project will include small retail outlets and workshops for halloumi, lizo, shiushiukko (a major tourist attraction), as well as handicrafts in pottery, embroidery, basket weaving, etc.
Some large buildings may be suitable for conversion into youth studios (or a Montmartre style base) where existing building codes may be relaxed, such as unit sizes, parking requirements, etc., including the use of Airbnb-style occasional rentals. The attractiveness of the project lies in its size and availability of parking, but despite the obvious attraction, this is not enough. The project has all the prerequisites for success, both in terms of location and the presence of nearby facilities, but it takes a lot of work to achieve business success, and if the project is left as it is, then most likely it will acquire a “bad” commercial name, then which is the most difficult to overcome in the future.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – real estate appraisers, real estate agents and real estate consultants