On 3 October 2016 the first cornerstone was laid of the Ayia Napa Marina development. The £190 million mixed-use residential and commercial project will include 190 apartments, housed in two twisting towers, 29 villas, a 600-berth full-service marina and a collection of retail, waterfront dining and lifestyle amenities for its ultra-high-net-worth residents and visitors.
“In 2002 the government of Cyprus called for an international tendering process for all marinas,” explains Stavros Caramondanis, CEO of the Caramondanis Group, 20 per cent shareholders in the project, and the Ayai Napa Marina. “In 2012 we signed a concession with the Cypriot government, based on certain cash guarantees, and were given a two-year grace period until 2014 in order to find investors for the project.” In 2013 Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian investor, purchased an 80 per cent share in the development.
The concession for the Aya Napa Marina development, granted by the Cypriot government, extends for 50 years upon the completion of the project; final works are due to be concluded in 2021. “We will operate the marina, as well as the commercial and private property, for 50 years. However, the real estate is sold under a lease hold agreement of 125 years using a system that is much the same as the British lease holding system.”
Once a client invests in the commercial or private real estate, they will be asked to sign two contracts. The first contract is for 50 years in accordance with the concession and the second is an additional 75-year contract signed with the Cypriot government. Lease holders will also be given the right to first refusal at the end of their 125-year term.
Berths will be rented out on a daily, monthly or yearly rate – rates are yet to be decided – with a 220 slip, four storeys, dry-dock stack facility for smaller vessels and approximately 480 slips for larger vessels. “Our target audience will be in the 30m range with the majority of our berths accommodating vessels in the 26-36m range. We can also accommodate vessels up to 60m, as well as 70m with special notice,” continues Caramondanis.
The vast majority of berths will be rented out on the aforementioned basis, however, there will also be 12 permanent berths for those residents using the 12 island villas, as well as six permanent berths for those renting the peninsula homes. Further development will include 5000sqm squared of commercial property, to be offered to a variety of yachting and luxury business; including brokerage, restaurants, night clubs, chandlery services, high end retail, beach clubs, a yacht club and so on.
“We are hoping that owners and captains will choose to winter and holday with us, however, there are some advantages and disadvantages – we have to be realistic,“ Caramondanis says. “We have good infrastructure, beautiful beaches and great weather and the marina is situated right in its heart. However, the disadvantage is that we aren't too close the Greek islands - so it becomes difficult to island hop.”
Caramondanis explains that, ideally, yachts will winter with them because of Ayia Napa’s proximity to the Greek and Turkish coastlines. “They can use our marina as their hub,” he says. Lebanese and Israeli owners are top of Caramondanis’ list, “We are closer to Lebanon and Israel than most, relatively speaking, and we see this as a key market. We are also hoping to market ourselves to the Russian, Chinese and UK markets.”
In order to increase the presence of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in Ayia Napa, which already accounts for 60 per cent of Cyprus’ tourism revenue, the Cypriot government is lavishing developments such as the Ayia Napa Marina project with a host of fiscal incentives. For example, any individual that buys property in Cyprus before 1 January 2017 is exempt from capital gains tax, which starts at 20 per cent. There is also a low taxation system at 12.5 per cent and, as per the Ayia Napa Marina’s concession, there is no VAT payable on property leased, which saves an additional 19 per cent. Cyprus also offers citizenship and residency schemes.