Recovery Plan – Actions – Dynamics – Perspective
• Budget of €40 million, of which €25 million from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Cyprus tomorrow) for implementation in the period 2022 – 2026.
• Attracting and enhancing economic activity in the walled city creating a vibrant community by attracting students and related investments / upgrading the built environment
• Contribution to green growth through restoration / renovation of buildings
Long-term lease of the Faneromeni building for housing the Architectural Department of the University of Cyprus -School upgrades Enhancing entrepreneurship -Urban planning and financial incentives
Sponsorships for the acquisition of a residence -Traffic facilities for sustainable urban mobility
The preserved and noteworthy buildings are undeniably the architectural heritage of the built environment within the walls of Nicosia and are what shape the distinct character of the old city.
Despite the fact that the Conservation Building schemes that are still in operation are generous, it is nevertheless a common finding that most owners do not take advantage of them and do not proceed with the restoration of these buildings. Therefore, there is a need for additional actions to make a strategic plan possible – changing the image of the core of the capital.
It is noted that, taking into account that the architecture school of the University of Cyprus (which will operate in the Faneromeni building) will remain in the area for at least decades, with the students living and not just visiting the center to attend courses, it is considered that it will bring lasting positive effects to the city
Redevelopment of Nicosia within the walls – With a budget of €6 million, the renovation of the building will take place by June 2026.
A grant will be granted on 75% of the eligible costs of each proposal for the conversion of an existing building and on 50% of the eligible costs of each proposal for the construction of a new building.
The minimum investment (eligible expenditure) is set at €140,000, while the maximum grant amount per beneficiary reaches €2 million.
The payment will be made in two equal installments, the first during the implementation of 50% of the project and the second at the completion of the project based on the approved plans. We offer the possibility of a deposit of up to 20% of the approved grant or up to €60.000.
Beneficiaries will be owners of immovable property, or tenants, including natural persons and legal entities (companies, associations, foundations).
The total cost of renovation by the Nicosia Municipality of two building complexes, which will be converted into student rooms/dormitories, amounts to €4 million and will have the capacity to accommodate 84 students
SUBSIDY SCHEME FOR THE SUPPORT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Attracting new businesses to desirable activities, encouraging existing businesses to expand in the areas of application of the Plan, as well as encouraging businesses already operating in these areas to expand existing facilities to promote their business activity with the aim of creating viable and competitive businesses.
The total budget of the Plan reaches €10 million. and Grant will be given on 60% of the eligible costs, with the total amount of the designers’ fees up to 10% of the eligible budget.
The scheme will run until 31 December 2026 and themaximum financial aid is €80,000 per project.
Buildings – Landscaping/Renovation of buildings (up to 70% of the total cost of the subsidized investment): building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical works.
URBAN PLANNING INCENTIVES AND REGULATIONS
Among the government’s urban planning incentives in walled Nicosia are the maintenance of the building ratio in case of demolition of aging buildings and their reconstruction, the exemption/reduction of the requirement to designate parking spaces until 2026, but also the increase of the coverage rate of buildings up to 10% to serve modern needs.
Special urban planning regulations are also provided in cases of reuse, as a framework for planning permission for student residences (rooms), creative businesses and affordable business premises, transfer of building factor from remarkable buildings built before 1960, but also later, in case of their restoration, as well as creation of a fast-track licensing mechanism, to the Department of Town Planning and Housing, for projects falling under the Student Plan.
The incentives and regulations concerning the architectural heritage and listed buildings in the area within the walls of Nicosia are, among others, the increase of the maximum donated coefficient for listed buildings from 50% to 70%, until the end of 2026, the increase by 0.40:1 of the maximum allowed building coefficient for all listed buildings, to be transferred to recipient areas, by the end of 2026 and the declaration of all remarkable buildings as preservable.
SUBSIDY SCHEME FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PRIVATELY OWNED HOUSING
The Scheme provides for the provision of financial support for the acquisition of a privately owned residence for permanent owner-occupancy. The €5 million project will be financed by the state budget, running from January 2023 to December 2025. Contribution and selection criteria will be made on the basis of the Housing-Plan for the Revitalization of Mountainous, Peripheral and Disadvantaged Areas.
According to the data presented in the Area Plan, the permanent population shows an overall decline with significant losses in the population of the Urban Center outside the walls which decreased compared to the 1970s by 50%. The decline in growth at the Centre has been observed since the early 1960s and worsened after 1974.
The Area Plan states that the aim is to regain the population level of the 1970s, i.e an increase of 2,500-3,000 new permanent residents, which can be implemented through the utilization of the existing available building stock in the Old City, and an increase of about another 3,000 in the Urban Center outside the Walls.
Outside the Walls there is sufficient capacity from new or renovated housing units, to increase the population for an additional 4,000 – 5,000 new people. According to the Plan, the Central Region provides (at this stage) about 24,000-25,000 jobs, a number that has remained relatively stable over the last decades. It is estimated that new investments will double the number to 47,000-50,000 jobs in the Core of the Trade Zone.
In conclusion all the mentioned actions give the signal that something is changing slowly, steadily and dynamically. The fact remains, however, that nothing can be done without the positive response from all relevant authorities to bring a prosperous tomorrow. The potential presented is enormous. Historically it has been proven that nothing ever stays the same!
Eleni Averkiou, Eleni Averkiou | Research & Negotiations Dpt.
Danos | International Property Consultants & Valuers