Dolphin gains consent at Venus Rock

Dolphin Capital Investors has gained final planning consents for its two Jony Jacklin-designed golf course at its flagship Cyprus development

Dolphin Capital Investors, the largest coastline resort investor and developer in emerging markets, has won final consents for its two Tony Jacklin designed golf courses at its flagship project.

The firm, which is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim), said the permits at Venus Rock in Cyprus represented a “major milestone” for the project, as it creates an area zoned for an additional 711 single unit and 6 apartment building lots with a total of 200,000 square metres of buildable freehold residential space.

The company added: “With these additional permits, the first phases of the project are now fully permitted, and a €50 million ($60 million), 13-year loan would be made available by a local bank for development.

Started in 2004 by former Soros Real Estate professionals, Miltos Kambourides and Pierre Charalambides, Dolphin has becoming the world’s largest global investor and developer of coastal land in emerging markets.

The firm’s pipeline of developments includes 15 major projects, 60 mid-sized ones via Aristo Developers in Cyprus, 59 kilometres of beach, 10,000 residential units zoned, numerous hotels, and 8 golf courses in resorts in Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Panama.

It started out in 2005 by raising €5 million of pre-IPO capital provided by Fortress Investment Group and ‘friends and family’. The founders took Dolphin Capital Investors public on London’s junior stock exchange, the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) later in 2005 and raised €104 million. Nine months later it raised another €300 million and in June 2007 a further €450 million.

Investors include BlackRock, Standard Life and Scottish Widows Pension Fund.

Most of the capital has now been invested, so the company is entering into the crucial next stage of its life – gaining permits and development.

The target sales market for the Venus Rock project include Western Europeans, Russians, those from the Middle East, plus locals. There has even been interest from people in countries such as Iran, Scandinavia and Ukraine.

Aside from Venus Rock, one of the highest profile developments is Via Grande in the Dominican Republic. The project covers 11 kilometres of coastline in the north of the Dominican Republic. It has an existing golf course and the company is developing a resort around it.

Dolphin bought the land from a group of ‘celebrity’ New Yorkers such as Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros plus the president of Liberty Media and various actors. According to Charalambides, Dolphin bought the land at the same price the group paid for it and is now putting in the infrastructure. The agreement is to sell the plots of land back to the group for them to build their mega mansions on. 

In the last three years Dolphin has generated €300 million of sales of holiday homes.

The firm is now reportedly considering a listing on the main London stock exchange in order to boost liquidity.