Mriehel no more: industrial area officially turned into ‘Central Business District’

Helena Grech - 16th July 2019

Asked whether the name ‘Mriehel’ exists anymore, a government spokesperson clarified that “Mriehel was never a locality, it was just a name for an industrial area.”

The area referred to as ‘Mriehel’ is officially no more as businesses in the zone begin to receive communication about their change of address.

The Mriehel business district – previously its full name – is now to be referred to as the Central Business District.

News of the name-change made headlines in 2017, after it was announced by Economy Minister Chris Cardona. He highlighted that 6,000 employees work full-time in the area and spoke of how Mriehel has been synonymous with confusion and congestion due to crumbling infrastructure. A public-private partnership was formed between 18 founding members operating within the area and the government, called the Central Business District Foundation. The foundation was set up to oversee the day-to-day running of the industrial zone.

Asked whether the name ‘Mriehel’ exists anymore, a government spokesperson clarified that “Mriehel was never a locality, it was just a name for an industrial area.”

Indeed, he went on to say that “following Cabinet and Parliament approval, this area [Mriehel] is now called Central Business District Malta and falls under three localities: Birkirkara, Qormi and St. Venera.”

The spokesperson went on to elaborate that for the purposes of addresses, these would still contain one of the three localities, for example:

Triq It-Territorjals, Zone 1,
Central Business District, Birkirkara
CBD 1111.

Despite saying that the area is “now called” the Central Business District, information on the CBD official site says:

“The Central Business District Foundation, formally known as the Mrieħel Enterprise Zone Foundation (MEZF) was officially established by the Prime Minister in March 2016. Investment in Mrieħel, both current and future, is not being sustained by the overall state of the area, which leaves much to be desired, therefore MEZF, a public private partnership is tasked to formulate and implement a vision for Mrieħel and also establishing immediate and long-term priorities that need to be addressed.”

The spokesperson said that residents living in the area would not be impacted because Mriehel was never a locality with its own local council, and their address will remain Birkirkara, Qormi or St. Venera, depending on where they are situated.

Lastly, when asked about any expected confusion for businesses who operate out of the area and are continually receiving important letters and packages, the spokesperson stressed that the project “was carried out in collaboration with MaltaPost”.

He went on to say that “we [the Central Business District Foundation], have been working on this project for over two years and marketing has also been in place”.

In addition to the large number of offices and retail shops in the Central Business District catering for thousands of workers and consumers daily, a 2016 approval for high-rise buildings in the form of two towers in CBD/ Mriehel will ensure that the area sees larger volumes of activity each day.

CBD Foundation

The address found on the CBD Foundation site still reads ‘Mriehel’ and it is not known when all mention of the word will cease to be in use.

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