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Limassol: The battle for the dominance of malls – The details of the new investments

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The investment on the part of Nicosia Mall is estimated at 120 million euros and the expansion of My Mall Limassol at around 45-50 million euros

Λεμεσoς: Η μàχη της ; επικρΕτησης των malls - Οι λεπτομΕρε&iota

Three-storey will be the proposed shopping center of the Nicosia Mall company and will include 105 shops.

Λεμεσς: Η μαχη τ&eta ;ς επικρατησης των malls - Οι λεπτομερ&epsilon

By Maria Herakleous

After Nicosia, the competitive field of shopping centers moves to the Limassol market, since the two strong players of the capital – Nicosia Mall (with shareholders Zorpas Group, PHC Group, Athienitis Group and VLM) are concentrating there for their next investments Group) and Atterbury Europe (Mall of Cyprus).

Both companies have formalized their intentions, with Nicosia Mall having applied for planning permission for a plot which is within the administrative limits of the Municipality of Agios Athanasios, in a commercial and industrial zone, next to the Jumbo store. In the case of the Mall of Cyprus, perspective photos of the project have been made public, which will be erected in a block on 1st of October and Spyros Kyprianou avenues in Mesa Geitonia. The distance separating the two proposed closed shopping centers is estimated at around 150 meters. The first reaction of the majority of the market is that something like this is unsustainable both for the businesses themselves, but mainly for the traffic in the area. It is recalled that this is an area where the Jumbo department store is already active, as well as Kotsovolos.

Λεμεσς: Η μàχη τ&eta ;ς επικρατησης των malls - Οι λεπτομερ&epsilon

In addition to the new openings, changes are also being promoted regarding the existing shopping center, My Mall Limassol, with an expansion of the commercial area, but also an opening to the residential sector. What experts in the retail market make clear is that the market is not “raising” two new players who will offer the well-known traditional model of the mall, as we know it until today. It is therefore estimated that only by their differentiation can both be sustainable. For example, already in the case of Atterbury the intention for a different target audience is mentioned. If the focus is on luxury brands – something the Limassol market can support – then this proposition may be viable. On the other hand, the operation of two additional shopping centers may be a “tombstone” for the commercial streets of Limassol.

The new investments

The investment of Nicosia Mall, which is proceeding in collaboration with the Papantoniou group, amounts to 120 million euros. The proposed shopping center has three floors and 105 clothing, footwear and technology stores, dining areas, a cinema hall and a play area, broadly following the pattern of existing shopping centers in Nicosia, with the exception of the number of floors. Information from the market indicates that this particular case may have a slight lead, since an application for a planning permit has already been filed and environmental, traffic studies, and a commercial impact study are being considered by the competent authorities.

Regarding the timetables, the construction works, provided that the relevant approvals are received, will start within the 2nd half of 2024.

At the same time, Atterbury Europe is timing the start of work on its shopping center, which in the presentation of the project states that the retail offer in Limassol is limited, while the philosophy of the proposed one concerns the portion of consumers who can allocate money for expensive brands. The proposed mall will consist of two floors. The first floor will cover fashion, clothing and footwear, sports, and service stores. The second floor will be dedicated to family entertainment and will include a cinema, children's activity zone, and a food court focusing on fast food. The design is also said to integrate the old and the modern into a vibrant destination offering retail and family entertainment experiences.

My Mall is expanding

In the meantime, the expansion of the existing Limassol mall is progressing. The co-owner of the mall, Andreas Hatzimitsis, spoke to “K” about this, who said that approvals have been received for the company's preliminary questions regarding the development factors from the Municipality of Limassol, and the application for a planning permit will be submitted very soon. The addition for the commercial part amounts to six thousand square meters, while for the residential part 10 thousand square meters. The residential part is expected to include 130 apartments which will be available on the market either for rent or for purchase. A point that the owners of My Mall must also decide is the market to which the residential product will be addressed – whether it will be low-medium or medium to luxury. The amount of the investment amounts to 45-50 million euros and the start of the work is expected, perhaps in the second half of 2024.

ETEK's position

Commenting on this, the chairman of ETEK, Konstantinos Constantis, said that the agencies that will consider the applications should look at the impact cumulatively and not individually, so that there is a clear picture of any effects that may arise from two large commercial developments in close proximity . He also noted that the carrying capacity of the area should be considered. In other words, whether it has adequate infrastructure to serve the volume of traffic that will increase, the needs for electricity, etc.

He also pointed out that it is important for the state to guide development by recording market trends, the sectors that have become saturated, and to promote a new development model which is also more sustainable.

For his part, the representative of the historical shopping center of Limassol, Christis Dimitriou, told “K” that the market of Limassol is already covered by the existing businesses and the shopping center, while he characteristically said that it is a matter of survival for the shops in the center. As he estimates, a new shopping center, mainly in Limassol, will cause more damage than benefit for the market, while he indicated that an investment in the eastern district of Limassol might be more functional and sustainable. However, it is a question that should be answered, how the consumer “pie” of the Cypriot market can absorb two new developments of the same type, which will be adjacent.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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