Under the slogan "Cyprus does not want legal investors," Russian businessman Nikolai Potapenko aspires to build a five-star hotel on the beachfront of Finikoudes and went outside the Presidential Palace on Monday.
He was protesting against the fact that he claims a building permit concerning the development it wants to create in Kimonos Square, in Larnaca.
As he mentioned, seven years ago, he applied for a building permit for a luxury hotel in the area where the well-known Hobos cafe-restaurant is located today. Still, until today it has not been possible to secure the specific permit.
Potapenko, who has been active in the greater Larnaca area for 30 years, bought the property housing the well-known cafe-restaurant, including the parking lot behind the building and the adjacent property belonging to the Municipality of Larnaca, to create tourist developments. Completely different, however, is the position of the Municipality of Larnaca in what Potapenko supports.
Mayor Andreas Vyras said that the Russian businessman had changed his plans several times regarding the developments he is planning in Finikoudes. "While initially, his projects included two buildings, one tourist unit and the other residential, on February 10, 2020, he submitted to the town hall his final proposal for the construction of two hotel units, five and four stars.
On the 14th of the same month, the municipality sent the application to the Board of Derogations. Beyond that, many procedures must be followed, as these are two very tall buildings in the heart of the city's coastal front. Therefore, all the environmental and traffic impacts that the project will cause must be taken into account. That ", he noted.
The Mayor of Larnaca does not consider that the Council of Derogations has been delayed or does not follow the required procedures to examine the application submitted by Potapenko. He stressed that the development is planned in Larnaca's crucial and historical area so that nothing can be done quickly. He also reminded that at the moment, a court proceeding is pending for the non-observance of the agreed by the businessman regarding his financial obligations towards the municipality about the purchase of the property in Kimonos square.
"We consider that the time it takes for the Derogations Council to consider the application is reasonable. "If this development takes place, it must be done with all the foreseen procedures," concluded A. Vyras.