FOREIGN INVESTORS will reportedly be returning to the island this week to further discuss plans for a multi-billion luxury leisure project in Yeroskipou, Paphos.
Politis writes that a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday at the ministry of the interior. The gathering – which it’s understood will be informal – will be presided over by the Town Planning Department.
The proposed venture includes a marina for 500 boats, an art academy, an aquarium, three large hotels, apartment complexes and other buildings. The real estate earmarked covers approximately one square kilometre, the majority of which is uncultivated government land and a small percentage belonging to the Church of Cyprus and private landowners.
Politis also identified the Hungarian national who has been described as the brains behind the scheme. He is Sándor Kenyeres, a billionaire property developer and currently a resident of Cyprus. Kenyeres is the owner of the Antara Spa resort that opened just outside Polis Chrysochous last October.
An associate of Kenyeres told the paper that the Hungarian would be using his contacts to try and raise capital for the project.
But he stressed also that, for the time being, the undertaking is a project on paper only. No money has been raised to date, the source said, adding that the project would most likely be executed in stages, and the entire development might be completed in ten years’ time.
Politis estimated that, even if the project does get off the ground, it would take about two years of red tape for all the permits to go through. That’s because several studies will be required by authorities, including a generic environmental impact assessment (EIA), but also a specialised EIA due to the fact that part of the proposed project borders Moulia, near the coast, which is designated as a protected area.
The venture is being talked up by the Archbishop and by Yeroskipou Mayor Michael Pavlides, who previously told the Mail that the construction phase would generate up to 6,000 jobs, and on completion the project would employ close to 10,000.
The Archbishop meanwhile went so far as to claim that the investment, should it materialise, would be enough to lead Cyprus out of the economic crisis.
But skeptics are taking the promises with a heavy grain of salt. Sources at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Politis that the project was “too big to be true”, while others warned of excessive town planning and building relaxations bordering on the scandalous. It’s understood that the government land will be leased for a period of 99 years.