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Star Potential; Investing in Obzor

Until five years ago, Obzor was little more than a small town with a few family hotels and then a few savvy developers realized that it had one of the most spectacular stretches of beach on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Land was purchased at phenomenally low rates and hotel construction started. Today Obzor is one of the most popular resorts along the coast, yet despite its development from sleepy hollow to tourist magnet, the town has not lost its true charm and many of the hotel developments and apartment complexes here have been constructed with the luxury market in mind.

Indeed, Obzor has become particularly popular with Russian buyers who are willing to spend in excess of 100,000 Euros, and it’s not just the Russians who are starting to colonise Obzor; buyers from the Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic states are also frequent visitors. The biggest reason to take Obzor seriously is the fact that many investment funds are putting their client’s money here and leading developer John Hitchcox, who has just completed one of the country’s most spectacular luxury apartment complexes here says, "It's so close to Western and Central Europe that it's only a matter of time before it picks up and appeals to a wider market."

From Miami to Obzor

One of the most notable developments on the Obzor coastline is super stylish and highly trendy complex by YooBulgaria. Leading developer John Hitchcox is more often associated with his designs for the upwardly mobile young trendies in New York or Miami.

Hitchcox first development in Bulgaria is a stylish beachfront apartment complex in Obzor, which he is constructing in partnership with Unique Developments. The apartments start at a reasonable 73,000 Euros, but the spacious two-storey penthouses have a price tag of over 400,000 Euros. What makes these apartments desirable is not just the awesome beach-front location, which under new laws will prohibit further beach-line developments in Obzor, but the fact that the apartments come with optional design extras by none other than Phillippe Starck. The apartments have been designed by award winning architects; Diamond and Schmitt and therefore come with all of Yoo’s usual trademark style; enormous sundecks overlooking the sea, fashionable bathrooms and stylish airy lounges. Hitchcox claims that because labour and materials are cheaper in Bulgaria the project currently has the lowest price tag across the Yoo group and that, “the development will fit in with our usual concept and design but won't just be limited to the rich." Hitchcox has plans for further developments on the coast and says, he sees the company’s move to Bulgaria as long-term, “I'm really pro Bulgaria and I'm consistent with my pro-ness," he says. "We'll be here for at least 15 to 20 years."

Easy Access

Obzor’s close proximity to both Varna and Bourgas airports gives it the best of both worlds in terms of attracting tourists. Both airports are set to expand and are to undergo significant remodelling to bring them to a standard more akin to Western airports as well as to expand their capacity for increased passenger flows. There are several ways to access Obzor from each airport; either by hire car, taxi, which costs in the region of 100 lv. or by bus. Many of the large hotels are also providing their own transport to transfer passengers within the summer season. Additionally, more and more Western tour operators are including Obzor in their summer package programme.




Big-time Investors

Obzor is attracting some of the leading investment funds particularly from the UK. Such funds invest long-term in the redevelopment of an area in the knowledge that as the area increases in potential and popularity so the return on their investment grows. UK-based Black Sea Property Fund invests in luxury apartment complexes across Bulgaria. Last year they reported excellent progress in the sales of apartments in Obzor with an added bonus of prices being higher than they had originally estimated. Black Sea Property has invested in ski resort Pamporovo as well as Obzor and current investments are worth 15.2 million Euros.
Obzor is set to continue its up-market development trend and plans are afoot for a yacht port and golf course. Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan is building a 630-strong apartment complex in Obzor and has met with Bourgas’ mayor, to discuss the construction of more recreational sites including a golf course and yacht port. Jordan has also hired world renowned architect, Norman Foster, the designer of the unusual London sky scraper the Gherkin to work on one of his Bulgarian projects, which is still under wraps. Eddie Jordan is not the only celebrity name linked with Obzor and its environs; Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow intends to build a holiday village with some impressive sports facilities, including an Olympic standard stadium in an investment plan in excess of 100 million Euros. Fernando Roig Alfonso, President of Spain’s Villarreal football team is planning to invest 10 million Euros in the area in a golf course and a further 100 million Euros in a yacht port and stylish holiday complex, which will include boutique hotels, low rise villas, exclusive bars and restaurants as well as sports facilities.


A Healthy Future

With so much interest in Obzor’s super sandy beaches, investment potential here is good and in five years time those who bought here are likely to yield good results from their purchases. With more holidaymakers choosing to visit from both East and Western Europe the income from rentals should increase significantly. The fact that Obzor has a town environment and is not just a purpose-built beach resort makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer year-round living close to the sea. Obzor’s future looks rosy and property here is well worth a look.

Pictures courtesy of Yoo Bulgaria