Nestled in the sun-kissed Mediterranean, Cyprus is not just a destination for beach lovers and history buffs. It also boasts a thriving real estate industry and Atterbury Europe is enthused about future opportunities on the island. We sat down with CEO Henk Deist and Head of Developments Roux Gerber to explore Atterbury Europe’s customer-centric plans.
“Atterbury Europe was founded in 2014, staffed by a highly experienced team with an aim to seek investment opportunities and expand the company’s footprint in Europe,” Deist explains from his perspective as the team leader driving Atterbury Europe’s success.
Atterbury Europe, originating from Atterbury Property South Africa with a 30 year track record of developing and managing retail and commercial assets, has had success developing shopping centres and offices in Cyprus, Serbia and Romania over the last 8 years. The Mall of Cyprus and Mall of Engomi acquisitions back in 2015 from the Shacolas Group marked the beginning of the company’s enduring relationship with the Cypriot community. Since these acquisitions both Mall of Cyprus and Mall of Engomi were expanded to better serve the community of Cyprus.
Atterbury Europe promotes a hands-on approach towards managing its assets in close cooperation with our tenant and valued customer communities,” Deist adds, emphasising the firm’s commitment to its customers and partners.
“It’s been a while since Limassol was spotted as one of the possible investment opportunities for Atterbury Europe to pursue,” he reveals.
But what does the future hold for Atterbury Europe in Cyprus? For Deist, the bustling city of Limassol, known for its scenic waterfront marina and a historic Old Town, represents untapped potential. “The redevelopment of the waterfront marina along with the upgrade of the fishing harbour and marine parade are very popular tourist destinations. The newly developed casino resort on the western side of Limassol in the industrial area offers entertainment and retail facilities to a dedicated target market.
“The Old Town region is constantly undergoing upliftment and together with the waterfront is the heart of the tourist and restaurant/bar scene in Limassol. Upmarket retail is limited to high street offerings in the Old Town region, along the coastal seaside road, which is spread over a vast area. We have witnessed Limassol’s tremendous growth during the last 10 years, with a thriving real estate market, modern infrastructure and landmark buildings that helped put it on the map. The city’s infrastructure is top-notch, making it a desirable destination for investors, the local community and visitors alike,” elaborates Deist.
Highlighting the limited modern mall-retail concepts in Limassol, he envisions a future in which Atterbury Europe can help bridge that gap between the old and the new. The city’s infrastructural boom and the increasing appeal to both investors and tourists make it a tantalizing prospect.
However, finding the perfect location is no easy feat, as Roux Gerber aptly explains.
“Finding the right property, in the right location, with the right land area size, at the right price and at the right time was a process for which the group’s expertise needed to be applied over a long period of time,” he expounds, shedding light on the intricate process.
The global pandemic and geopolitical tensions during the last four years added even more pressure to an already difficult process to find the right piece of land for the envisioned retail development, but the team is very optimistic of the opportunity at hand.
“Atterbury Europe has the required skills to find opportunities and bring them to life. However, finding a suitable site in Limassol for a vital retail development in its central to eastern parts was an extensive process. After evaluating all the available sites in the earmarked area of interest, we pinpointed a suitable site,” Roux confirms.
Process provides clarity as the saying goes and in line with Atterbury Europe’s ethos, it’s not just about fulfilling a demand. The integration of any development into its surrounding environment in a sustainable and harmonious way remains paramount. Consultations, impact studies and demographic evaluations ensure their vision aligns perfectly with the community’s needs.
“For example, accessibility to and from the site is as important for future customers and neighbours as it is to us as developers. It is critical to engage in high-level consultations with the authorities about the likelihood of obtaining the required developments rights,” Roux emphasises.
“We therefore started by doing retail, impact and demographic studies in combination with authority consultation to test and underwrite a vision for the site. Only once we have a high level of certainty, supported by our investigations, consultations and studies that this vision is plausible, will we embark on the land acquisition process,” he discloses.
As Atterbury Europe’s plans for Limassol take shape, Deist can’t help but exude optimism. “Yes, the site has passed with flying colours,” he enthuses, underscoring the significant potential of the chosen location.
The preliminary view from the authorities is supportive. In addition, accessibility to and from the site is sustainable in accordance with a workable integration of the development into its immediate environment. With a near perfect overall rating of 8/10 from the proposed Limassol development’s market study, the site’s strategic location coupled with the city’s growing demand for modern retail spaces and a positive positioning as a an integrated family destination, Atterbury Europe’s future in Limassol and Cyprus looks nothing short of promising.
Atterbury Europe Quick Facts
- Foundation: Atterbury Europe was founded in 2014
- Head office: Leiden, The Netherlands
- Countries: Cyprus, Romania and Serbia
- Limassol vision: Address the limited retail offering in the city where no modern mall-retail concept currently exists