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Townsquare boss defends high-rise: we could have built 26 blocks if we wanted

Andrew Ganado says Townsquare will benefit Sliema area and residents by restricting tower block’s footprint

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
21 September 2016, 11:02am
Townsquare representatives at a recent PA meeting: Christian Ganado, right, with Mark Gasan, left.
Townsquare representatives at a recent PA meeting: Christian Ganado, right, with Mark Gasan, left.
The director and owner of Townsquare Ltd, the developers of Sliema’s controversial 38-storey Townsquare high-rise, has claimed that the option of building high-rises “has many more benefits to the area and residents surrounding Townsquare”.

Andrew Ganado’s comments were penned in a talking point for The Times after an environmental impact assessment revealed that the excavation phase, which will take 10 months, will see 28 trucks passing every day through Sliema, while construction is expected to take four years.

The Townsquare tower will comprise 159 residential units, 4,719 square metres of offices, 8,241 sq.m. of commercial space and 748 parking spaces as well as the restoration of Villa Drago.

“We could have opted for 26 blocks of nine storeys each, side-by-side, with no pedestrian space,” Ganado wrote, referring to the floor-area-ratio policy employed to restrict sprawl by building high.

The same policy was used to reduce the sprawl of other buildings such as Fort Cambridge, which were compensated by allowances to build higher.

In this case, Townsquare Ltd own the entire area of the former Union Club grounds and Villa Drago, and are restricting the tower’s footprint.

“Instead we opted for an open area of 7,300 square metres of landscape pedestrian space almost the size of Independence Gardens in Sliema… it is to our credit as serious and experienced developers that we are creating a huge area for the public to enjoy 224/7, a benefit not created by any other private development in Sliema, where land is at a high premium.”

Ganado also said that as construction  goes up, it will be further away from present residences, reducing the incidence of cranes and road closures, and announced a communications office next to the Sliema Union Club to explain the public the facts of the project.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.