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New green project for Nicosia’s riverbed March 5, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Cyprus Nicosia, Nature.
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The upgrading of a linear park in Nicosia which includes a lit pedestrian walkway and bicycle lanes along the Pedieos River is expected to begin shortly, with the area set to be transformed into one of outstanding natural beauty.

The first 4.5km of the project was built in Lakatamia as far back as eight years ago. Upgrade plans include two parallel paths, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists over a distance of 18 kilometres.

The project’s architect, Andreas Kyriakides said that the aim is, “to modernise the capital and to give citizens the opportunity to walk in safety and tranquillity.”

The upgrade plans include a further two-kilometre section which needs to be built within Nicosia Municipality borders, specifically from the Agrotis Bridge near the Presidential Palace to the old General Hospital.

According to the architect, “the final goal is to take advantage of the whole passage of the river, which begins at the Tamassos Dam and finishes at Paphos Gate. We would also like to utilise the moat circling the old city so that a truly circular park can be created, which will strengthen the unification of the old town in the future.”

Construction plans are in place with work due to begin shortly. It is hoped everything will be ready by 2009. Tenders are expected to be submitted by the end of March, with the project designed and approved by the Town Planning Department.

It will also be environmentally friendly. “No pollution of the river will be seen during the building works,” the architect assured. Two modern laminated timber footbridges will also be constructed, one in Ayioi Omologites, the other close to the Evangelistria private clinic. Kyriakides said dense growth and private property had hindered progress in Ayioi Omologites. Special ‘green’ buses will also run through the park, helping both pedestrians and cyclists to cover distance.

He stated that the exact cost was not yet known but would be in the region of several million euros. He thanked Nicosia, Strovolos and Lakatamia Municipalities, saying the project would not have been possible without their help.

The walkway will be flanked by eucalyptus trees, with tropical fish, frogs, and turtles introduced into the river. Rare birds will also be set free.

“We want to take advantage of the river’s location and beauty. The environment is very clean and peaceful there and is will be a lovely in which to go for a walk.”

Cyprus opens bids for Greece’s Artemida village reconstruction October 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Architecture Greece.
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The Government of Cyprus will assign the project of the reconstruction of the village of Artemida in Peloponnesus which was razed by the disastrous forest fires last August, after the opening of bids around mid December.

This was stated by the Interior Minister Christos Patsalides, after a meeting at the Presidential Palace. He added that the cost of rebuilding of the Greek village, is estimated to reach 14.5 million euros. “Our goal is to move on with the work, which concerns the rebuilding or the reconstruction of houses in the area, as soon as possible and with view to do a high quality work”, Patsalides said.

The Minister said that the feedback received from the people of Artemida is very positive. Asked if the companies, which will undertake the work will be Greek, Patsalides said that the bids involve companies, which will be able to undertake the project in Greece. “We can not make a commitment that the companies will be Greek or Cypriot. Our goal is to do the work as soon as possible and with quality”, Patsalides concluded.

Cyprus town planning goes online October 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus.
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Cypriots will soon be able to monitor their application for town-planning permission over the internet.

E-title deeds and other documents will be available over the web too at a later stage thanks to the Town-planning Department’s new website > ww.publicaccess.tph.moi.gov.cy

The site, which will start operating on November 5, will offer the public relief from the tiring bureaucracy the Department is notorious for. Members of public whose planning application is in process can check how it is progressing by visiting the site and entering their ID card number. Soon they will also be able to access their title deeds, topographic plans and other relevant documents from the comfort of their homes.

The website will contain information on applications made from October 29 onwards. In order for the procedure to move into the next stage, where title deeds can be acquired, the Department needs to purchase a new server and computerise its services, which is set to cost Cy£500,000.

A meeting was held on Tuesday afternoon under the presidency of Interior Minister Christos Patsalides, where the proceedings were discussed. The Technical Committee appointed to examine ways to speed up proceedings to acquire planning permissions gave Patsalides a multi-page document, which included a number of short and long-term measures >

  • The creation of unified planning application forms that can be used by all local town-planning authorities
  • The Town-planning Department’s recommendations to applicants will be in writing and binding for at least six months
  • Third-party authorities, such as the Electricity Authority of Cyprus or Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, are obliged to inform Town-planning on changes in transmission waves and so on
  • Planning applications must include a photograph of the developing property and the surrounding area, a survey by an approved surveyor, information on the road network and surrounding environmental descriptions
  • Any omissions will be spotted within two days of applying and the application will be sent back and removed from the website, losing the applicant his place in turn
  • The appointment of special teams that will handle the applications
  • The Town-planning Department must relay all its data to the Interior Ministry, which will be take control of town-planning
  • The Department will take on the responsibility of computerising the data and training its staff.

Limassol’s options for a conference centre October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus.
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Seven earlier sites for a 2,000-capacity conference centre in Limassol have been turned down by the public and private sector stakeholders in favour of seven new potential sites where the CyPounds 15-30 million [25.6-51.3 million euros] multi-purpose venue will be built.

The proposed sites are in the Enaerios area, the new marina (old port) and in Yermasogia. The initial sites had been selected through a consultation between the Cyprus Tourism Organisation [CTO], Limassol City Councils and the town’s Chamber of Commerce.

However, the project consultants from Greece found all of the criteria for the site selection, such as central location, easy access, services, parking, to be unsuitable in terms of planning and logistics. The study is now expected to complete by the end of the year while the CTO hopes that construction work on conference centre will start in 2009 or 2010.

Limassol to get second Cyprus shopping mall October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Business & Economy, Shopping.
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With Limassolians unfettered by the noise about the opening of the Mall of Cyprus in  Nicosia, work is underway to build a 30,000-square metre shopping mall with 150 shops in the coastal port town.

The biggest continuous pouring of concrete was completed in Zakaki two weeks ago for the construction of a foundation raft, in what is considered a major achievement in the erection of a commercial property in the East Mediterranean and Middle East. 

The concrete pouring work was completed in about 30 hours by hundreds of workers and engineers from the construction company Atlas Pantou. A total of four batching plants of concrete were involved using six pumps and 35 concrete-mixer trucks. In all, 533 loads of concrete were delivered, which resulted in the pouring of around 5.000 cubic meters of concrete. All this was for the construction of the central basement floor of the mall.

Dimitris Krikellis, Marketing Manager of Tiffany Investments Ltd, owner of Limassol’s first shopping mall said that the building will also include cafés, restaurants, as well as other places for leisure and entertainment.

The mall is being built on a plot of 100,000 sq.m. and will have parking spaces for 2,000 cars. It hopes to attract around 10,000 visitors per day, which is less than half the traffic at the Mall of Cyprus during the first week of operation. The project will be concluded in August 2008 and the grand opening of the mall is scheduled for the fall of 2008.

The operator of the new mall will “an international  experienced mall management company,” Krikellis said, adding that the total cost of the whole project is estimated at close to CyPounds 40 million (68 million euros).

“We believe that the mall’s contribution to the economy of Cyprus and not just that of Limassol is multifold, since it is one of the largest investments in retailing ever made in Cyprus creating some 1,000 new jobs.

Krikellis said the new mall is located in Zakaki, one of the fastest developing areas of Limassol, only one kilometre away from the new port of Limassol, ten minutes from the city center and five minutes from the British bases.

Although he could not say which retail companies or fashion houses had agreed to take up shops, Krikellis said that “many international and Cypriot companies have already signed agreements with Tiffany Investments Ltd., but brands or names of the companies cannot be given at this stage.

Limassol’s Mayor launches cultural celebrations October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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In an official ceremony at Limassol’s Evagoras Lanitis Centre yesterday, Mayor Andreas Christou launched the “European Cultural Heritage Days”, a series of cultural and entertainment events taking place in the seaside town throughout October.

“At an age of increased globalisation the protection and preservation of cultural heritage of each state and region is a significant challenge. The management of this heritage is the responsibility of the community, the Municipality as well as individuals,” said Christou.

The aim of these events is to showcase to people the architectural and cultural value of their surrounding environments. The days have been organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission since 1991. Cyprus has been an annual participant since 1995.
This year’s events are themed around the relationship between cultural heritage and entertainment. The seaside town, with its intense commercial activity and matching entertainment scene was chosen as the ideal host to the Days. Events include dance performances, exhibitions at Evagoras Lanitis Centre, city tours and a Street Life Festival.

As part of the events, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris was present at the opening of a euro exhibition at the Carob Mill. The exhibition, which will start on October 22 and end on November 5, is part of the government’s new campaign to inform the public on the introduction of the euro in January. It will be held at the Evagoras and Kathleen Lanitis Centre.

Sarris also said there would be four euro-buses touring the island to offer information on the euro, especially to the residents of mountainous and secluded areas. The Famagusta Euro observatory yesterday announced its euro-bus would start touring the free Famagusta area on October 8, beginning from the Apostolos Pavlos Centre in Liopetri at 9am.

Busy afternoon at the opening of The Mall of Cyprus September 29, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Business & Economy, Cyprus News, Shopping.
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Cyprus’ new mega-mall in Nicosia officially opened > Thousands of people flocked to the new Mall of Cyprus, but their arrival at the giant complex was marred by dire traffic congestion and a protest.

The opening mall took place with a side-show demonstration from the Green Party, who camped outside the mall to protest the impact the development was having on access to the new Nicosia General Hospital across the street.

Traffic police turned up in force to shepherd the long queues of cars waiting to get a glimpse of the new premises and traffic problems, first witnessed when the adjacent IKEA complex was opened around a month ago, still remained very much apparent.

Special guests at the mall’s opening included Justice Minister Sophocles Sophocleous, DISY Deputy Averoff Neophytou and his new bride, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris, the Ambassadors and Consulates of Denmark, Slovenia and France, British High Commissioner Peter Millet, former Nicosia Mayor Michalakis Zampelas and the Mall’s tycoon owner Nicos Shacolas.

In the background, the police orchestra played various ensembles and more bizarrely the title tune from the boxing film Rocky, which blared out as the Ministers and Ambassadors mingled with each other just outside the entrance.

The new mall is made up of 31 small and large shops, ten coffee shops and restaurants and a five-screen cinema complex. Large name brands include Debenhams, Zara, Carrefour, Public, Intersport, Oviesse, Cortefiel, Du Pareil Au Meme, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Next, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and the Early Learning Centre. The mall will also include a Volta Fun Park for children and a hairdressing salon.

When the waiting customers did eventually manage to get into the new mall, most were not disappointed by the sheer size and options at hand. One customer took over an hour to get to the mall, in what was usually a ten-minute drive for him to get to the area. He said that despite being awed by what he saw, the traffic problem was an issue that could very soon put him off the approach altogether if it is not sorted out soon.

“I think the mall is great, this is certainly the first of its kind in Cyprus but the problem with the traffic still remains”, the customer said, who was at the mall with his wife and two small children. He added, “This is what happens when you don’t take of these issues before. I suppose the question remains as to how the traffic problems will affect the businesses in the mall. I haven’t been put off yet but I certainly won’t be compelled to coming here often if the traffic problem isn’t fixed.”

Others were more angered by the traffic problems, with around 15 environmentalists staging a small rally outside the entrance. “We are protesting against the thoughtless traffic problems that are causing so many problems to the new General Hospital”, Green Party Deputy Giorgos Perdikis said. “The ones responsible for this unacceptable situation are the town planning administration and, of course, the state. They should never have allowed the situation to get to where it is. We are calling for measures to be taken immediately because these problems are causing great delays to the public and are also endangering the lives of others.”

Perdikis also said that his party was also outraged by government plans to build a new road that would cut through Athalassa park as a means to ease the traffic congestion leading to and from the complex. “Cutting through the park of Athalassa should not be an option,” he added.