A $20 million upgrade to the Cyprus Communtiy of NSW’s site has been given the go ahead after six years and around $700,000 spent on applying for permits from the Marrickville council.

The Marrickville site, which currently consists of a three level building with clubrooms and offices, will expand to include the construction of 56 units for retirees, a piazza with cafes and restaurants, a gallery, and refurbishments to the existing building.

President of the Cyprus Community of NSW, Michael Christodoulou, said the retiree units are designed for independent living for people aged over 55.

He said retirees could purchase a unit, which would later be purchased back by the Cyprus community in the case of the owner moving into care or passing on.

Mr Christodoulou said he was excited that the plans had finally been approved. “We’re very excited, it’s taken six years, but we’re now very pleased with the response we’ve gotten,” he said.

Construction is set to commence in 2011. “We’re currently going through the tenders and all the certifications we need to do but building will begin in 2011,” Mr Christodoulou said.

The $20 million upgrade is one of the biggest investments a Greek community organisation in Sydney has ever made according to Mr Christodoulou.

Mr Christodoulou also went on to say that it is important that the Cyprus community is holding onto the site.