The real estate industry in Cyprus is growing rapidly, and it is one of the main catalysts for the growth of the country’s economy as whole. The construction company Cyfield Group is one of the most successful and effective companies in the construction industry in Cyprus. This year one of this company`s projects, 360 Nicosia, became the winner of Luxury Lifestyle Awards in the category of The Best Luxury Real Estate in Cyprus. We talked to George Chrysochos, CEO of Cyfield Group, about the award-winning project and his vision of luxury real estate in the island.
Luxury Lifestyle Awards: Mr. Chrysochos, today you are the leader of one of the most innovative and ambitious companies in Cyprus. Could you please tell us about yourself and your professional background?
George Chrysochos: I was born and raised in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, alongside my two sisters. Since my father was the founder of the company, I have been involved with the family business from a very young age, serving in all sectors of the business. Before joining the family business full time, I had worked in the United States and Greece, as a consultant for Navigant and Mckinsey & Company, where I gained experience in multiple functions including strategy and operations, mergers and acquisitions and organizational restructuring. I had a diverse involvement in industrial, energy, infrastructure, telecom, pharmaceutical and financial companies. These experiences were crucial in forming my professional character.
While I was working as a consultant, I had a day to day involvement with Cyfield, participating in key strategic and operational decisions. Upon my return to Cyprus, I had a vision to expand the family business into a regional civil and EPC contractor and enter the energy market.
I graduated with a Highest Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Stanford University. I have also served in the National Guard of Cyprus as a reserve 2nd lieutenant.
LLA: How did you start working in Cyfield Group?
GC: As I said earlier, my father would always support me and my sisters to get on our career path at a very young age. The first time I worked in a construction site I was only six years old! Until the age of 21, I was involved with various aspects of the construction during summer holidays. I went from building bricks to operating the asphalt and concrete batching plants. Even when I was abroad, I was involved with the business and returned permanently in Cyprus in 2017.
LLA: Could you tell us about your company? What is the business concept of Cyfield Group?
GC: Cyfield is a European Group specialising in Land Development, Construction and Energy. Since our creation in 1990, we design, build and market exceptional quality properties in the best locations in Cyprus and Greece. Through our Contracting Division, we undertake big infrastructure projects such as motorways, dams, bridges, sewerage systems, environmental projects, in Cyprus and other countries such as Greece and the Middle East. Recently we have branched out into energy, and having built two photovoltaic parks we are now constructing the first private electricity-producing plant in Cyprus.
Our fully integrated structure managed by highly qualified and experienced management and specialised personnel, supplemented by an array of the latest technology machinery and support departments, enables us to streamline and optimize our operation by ensuring proper project execution under strict quality and performance standards.
Despite the Group’s size, it remains a family business, taking a personal interest in each project. When dealing with clients, whether they are private individuals, companies or local and government authorities, our approach is always marked by a personal touch, in terms of communication and cooperation with each one.
LLA: What is the secret of the attractiveness of the construction industry in Cyprus for investment?
GC: Cyprus is one of the safest countries in the world. It is also famous for its hospitality and beauty. It is a European country with a friendly Mediterranean outlook where all the visitors are treated with kindness and respect. It has an exceptional health care system, educational system and a very high standard of living. Its robust and growing economy provides investors with safe investments with good and sustainable returns.
Cyprus offers an extremely attractive tax system, with only 12.5% corporate tax, no inheritance tax, no property tax, and our legislation system is based on the English Common Law, the most easily comprehended and straight forward legal system on the planet. Additionally, all investors who buy properties in Cyprus, are allowed to apply for the residency permit or citizenship by investment program, which gives them a fast-track European Citizenship without any additional requirements.
Our Group has several such investments which include upgraded residential properties in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca as well as two Alternative Investment Funds with assured returns in commercial properties and energy projects. Investing in Cyprus has never been easier or safer.
LLA: How did the idea of 360 Nicosia come about? How would you describe this project?
GC: 360 Nicosia has been the dream project of my father for a very long time. Given the turbulent period between 2008-2013, our group came out stronger due to its financial standing and resilience. That’s when the company decided to set ourselves apart from the other developers, since we were entering a new era for Cyprus. The market conditions were ideal for the project, therefore we decided to realize it. It is a project targeted at both local and foreign buyers and investors.
360 is the most iconic project which is due to completion in Summer 2020. 360 is located at Nicosia’s city center and most prestigious street, surrounded by the old town and the commercial and business district. It is the tallest building in the capital with 34 floors high (135m) with views that stretch for miles around the city. It offers a new standard of living and creates a completely new lifestyle. Some characteristics of the building include smart technology, top quality materials, room service and catering, concierge 24-hour service and security, whole spa floor with swimming pool and gym.
Nicosia, being the capital of Cyprus, the financial and the educational center, offers the best and ideal location for investment and the rental needs are expressed by local demand.
LLA: This is a bold enough project for Nicosia. What difficulties and obstacles did you encounter in the process of its implementation?
GC: The project’s inception was made at a time where the foreign buyer market was very small. Therefore, from the beginning, the target was the local market. Nicosia does not have any other high rise, 5-star luxury living, serviced apartment, security building. It was a niche market. This is justified by the great demand we get from corporations that bring in foreign executives and want to temporarily rent on such a building, embassies, and other business visitors.
We were very lucky that the design was made right after the announcement of the government for the limitless height law that was issued for the central business district of Nicosia. Given that all conditions are satisfied, and the environmental and traffic studies show little impact on the area, the planning and building permits were issued relatively easily.
The only challenge for us was the construction itself since it was our only 3rd high rise building that we were doing. However, we are proud to say that we finished the building on time, and with the promised quality. This experience has elevated the company to another level, ready to design, market and execute any type of property, fit for the purposes of every customer.
LLA: What are the most interesting and innovative features of 360 Nicosia?
GC: The 360 stands out from other high-rise buildings because of its concept and other important elements that make it unique:
- 360 has 135 meters high, 34 floors, 120 apartments, 3 shops, 2 restaurants, swimming pool, gym, residents club, 3 underground levels with 320 parking spaces and warehouses. It has 34,000 square meters of space, it is the largest building in Cyprus, and the tallest building currently on the island
- It is located in the best part of the capital, in the city center
- Innovative building design. It has a gentle colouring, based on the color of the walls of Nicosia, where it creates an impressive and courteous building that stands in the present, has the technology of tomorrow, and respects the city’s past and history.
- The 360 boasts a totally innovative design approach: all the common areas have been placed in the central core of the building, leaving the perimeter largely free from any beams and obstructions. The large area of each floor can be divided into custom-designed living spaces to the requirements of each individual person or family.
- On the double-height 10th floor of the building, we placed the swimming pool, sun-deck and other communal areas including a fully-equipped gym with a spa, sauna and steam bath. On another area of this floor, dedicated to the comfort and relaxation of the tenants, we have designed a private Residents Club, with a view of the city where the guests can enjoy their drink, or welcome their friends or even rent the space for their children’s birthday party!
- A portfolio of exquisite apartments with spectacular views and exceptional offerings to a very high standard over 27 residential floors. Interiors and residential amenities have been designed with extraordinary flair, ingenuity and finesse to provide the best in upgraded urban living. Every apartment has its own unique view and the design of the building is such that keeps nothing in hiding. With 360o views all around, you can even choose your own personal “window frame” and select your personal living space in this unique building
- From the lobby, the high-tech superfast lifts will seamlessly transport people to and from the residences in record time. One of these lifts is specially sized to enable the transportation of furniture and other bulky items. Access to the residents will also be available through the secure car parks on the basements of the building.
- The Management and Housekeeping team is in place to keep 360 running like clock-work, from cleaning and maintenance to operating the residents’ common areas and much more. The 24-hour concierge will be there to provide a host of other services: taking care of your deliveries, supervising the safety and security of the building, looking after the common areas, he is dedicated to you day and night.
- 360 ONLINE is another pioneering service, which, like a digital concierge gives residents exclusive access to house services, local information, payments of their bills, and much more.
- At the 360, the goal is to enhance the lives of the residents by providing them with top-grade amenities. In their apartments, they will discover features such as our “smart” tablet that enables control of all the electrically operated units of the apartment. All the appliances, even the curtains, can be controlled via smartphones or tablets.
- Elegant marbles and warm parquet floors, granite and quartz countertops, modern carpentry, and top quality sanitary ware are among the offered standard features.
- State-of-the-art building technology is another element that defines 360. It carries a Class A certificate and has a low carbon footprint that is achieved through its triple-glazed windows, LED lights, energy-saving features, waste-recycling systems and others.
- Safety and security are also covered by technology: access cards, CCTVs, fire and burglar alarms and other systems protect the building and its residents from foreseeable dangers.
- The amazing restaurant and club on the two top levels of 360 are becoming “the talk of the town!” Apart from its superb menus, the views of Cyprus by night will be an absolute experience not to be missed by anyone. Through the separate lobby on the side of the building, the dedicated lift will service the Sky Restaurant and Club on the 33rd and 34th levels. The highest restaurant in Cyprus offers a unique lifestyle experience.
360 epitomizes modern refinement and every aspect of it creates a new standard of living and adds to the new lifestyle experience.
LLA: In your opinion, what key characteristics must modern luxury property have?
GC: Firstly, luxury properties have to be unique and stand out of the pack. They have to make the resident feel special and distinguished. Luxury properties are addressed to a very small and targeted market – people, who are willing to pay the premium, but they are extremely demanding. These people are usually business executives or high ranked officials, who have travelled a lot and have seen a lot, hence they know what a luxury product should be like. The quality that they are promised should be met, while at the same time offer the latest technology and specs that are available in the global housing market.
Therefore, it must be like living in your personal 6* hotel! Our building offers such specs, with the state of the art design and construction in the most prime location. It has to be both a high tech and spec apartment, but it has to offer a different lifestyle as well, a higher standard of living, therefore services and amenities are also important. It should make you want to stay inside! This can be achieved by comfort and functionality, quality and luxurious finishes, spa, fitness facilities and other elements and services that will make a property “extraordinary”.
LLA: 360 Nicosia has become the winner of Luxury Lifestyle Awards. What are your impressions of this victory?
GC: We are very excited that 360 Nicosia has become a Winner of Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2019 in the category of The Best Luxury Real Estate in Cyprus making it to TOP-12 of the very best. This award verifies that our work is recognized globally and that 360 Nicosia is one of the best luxury real estate projects with the highest quality of construction, materials and lifestyle, representing pioneering excellence and innovation.
LLA: Mr. Chrysochos, you are a second-generation CEO of the family’s business. What are your basic principles for conducting a successful business with the closest people?
GC: We are values-driven company and we always try to be ahead and different from the market. We have survived the most difficult times of our business life, because we had conservative principles such as low leverage ratios, cost consciousness, diversity and involvement in many industries and of course, stable incoming yielding assets. We have always been client-centric and the market has rewarded us with their trust throughout our existence.
However, we couldn’t do anything without our people. One of our core values is Apprenticeship and Mentoring. We invest heavily in our human capital, with constant training and education. Most of our people have been here for their whole careers because they feel that Cyfield is satisfying all their dreams and opportunities for self-improvement and empowerment. That’s why we create an unrivaled environment for exceptional people, and our company is in high demand from their talents. This gives the advantage to recruit the best, always on an inclusive and meritocratic basis and we welcome people of diverse backgrounds.
LLA: What are the key priority projects for Cyfield Group today? How do you see the future of your company?
GC: Expanding in the area of energy generation and supply is a key priority for Cyfield at the moment. That’s why we are currently investing heavily in the energy market, by constructing the first private, high-efficient gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Cyprus. We plan to become one of the key utility companies of the island as well.
Although plans are afoot to grow our presence in Greece, Europe and the Middle East, our core focus will remain on Cyprus, the home market representing a sustainable and safe path forwards, especially given the country’s economic revival in recent years.
The company is ready to deliver on any construction challenge, from high-rise buildings to key infrastructure projects. We are full of confidence and we are reinforcing Cyfield’s commitments to clients and outlining the bright prospects that lie ahead for our country.
No matter what we do and where we invest, we will never deviate from our core values and stay true to serving our society and the environment we work in, with the utmost respect to our people and all our stakeholders.
Cyprus is one of the safest countries in the world. It is also famous for its hospitality and beauty. It is a European country with a friendly Mediterranean outlook where all visitors are treated with kindness and respect. Its robust and growing economy provides investors with sustainable returns. Investing in Cyprus has never been easier or safer.