With MIDI’s projects at Tigne Point substantially complete, the focus for the company is now shifting towards Manoel Island, CEO Mark Portelli told this business portal.
“Although works at Tigne Point are substantially complete, the remaining works include the development of the remaining volume on the north shore site, the adaptive reuse of Fort Tigne, the completion of the promenade which will connect Qui-Si-Sana to Tigne sea front and the restoration of the Garden Battery,” he told MaltaChamber.org.mt.
Mr Portelli confirmed that 95 per cent of all apartments on the north shore apartment block, branded as Q2, and launched earlier this year, had already been sold. Meanwhile, the office block branded as The Centre has been completed and tenants are currently undertaking outfitting works which works are expected to be completed early next year.
Meanwhile, the company has just released its revised masterplan for the restoration and redevelopment of Manoel Island, which has been "significantly amended" in response to valuable feedback received from the broader community, the Gzira council and NGOs.
The masterplan will “preserve, improve and deliver more than 80,000 square metres of new green/family park space around Manoel Island, including Fort Manoel and the Island’s foreshore, for the general public to enjoy for the long term.”
The masterplan also envisions Fort Manoel as “a centre for Culture and the Arts, comprising galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and a Parade Ground for open air events, all with full public access; the Chapel will also be used for community events, weddings and celebrations. This helps to ensure that Fort Manoel will become one of Malta’s most visited attractions.”
The former quarantine facility of Lazzaretto is scheduled for restoration as a five-star hotel with serviced apartments. The residential component of the development is concentrated at the western part of the island and will comprise of a series of low rise (three to four floors) urban blocks.
“We are confident that the design of the mixed used development we are contemplating for Manoel Island will cater for the demands of a contemporary comfortable lifestyle. Furthermore, the heritage sites and the location in close proximity to both Valletta and Sliema makes Manoel Island a unique address,” Mr Portelli told this news portal.
He added that the perception that the Manoel Island site was transferred to MIDI at a de facto nominal price is incorrect, as apart from premia payable, MIDI is obliged to restore and maintain the heritage sites at a cost which totals in excess of €30 million.
“As has been widely reported MIDI initiated an investor search process with the assistance of the Investment Bank Jefferies International. This process is ongoing, and the aim is to identify a strategic investor to invest alongside MIDI. The appointment of Foster+Partners to assist the company with the preparation of the Master Plan clearly demonstrates MIDI’s commitment to developing the site to the highest possible design standards bearing in mind the importance of the historical buildings on the site.”
“MIDI is committed to developing Manoel Island in terms of the deed while honouring its obligations including ensuring the restoration of all heritage sites. A matter worth noting is that the deed between the Government of Malta and MIDI provides that a large part of the island will revert back to Government following completion in order to ensure it is operated as a public space.”