Mercury Tower: 92% of apartments on promise-of-sale

Joseph Portelli’s Mercury Tower already has 92% of its prospective apartments placed under promise-of-sale agreements

With a second 23-storey to accompany the Mercury Tower high-rise (pictured) the entire project will create an average of 998 new car trips every day
With a second 23-storey to accompany the Mercury Tower high-rise (pictured) the entire project will create an average of 998 new car trips every day

The Zaha Hadid-designed high-rise in St Julian’s – Joseph Portelli’s Mercury Tower – has already had 92% of its prospective apartments placed under promise-of-sale agreements.

With 260 apartments to be constructed in the tower, as at end-2018 almost all of these units had been prospected to be sold by preliminary agreements, including Malta and international buyers – some of whom have committed to buy entire floors.

Buyers enter into direct agreement with Mercury Contracting Projects, which is responsible for the construction of the tower. Mercury Projects Finance plc, the guarantor of the bond issue under-pinning Mercury Tower, agrees the terms and conditions, but is not liable towards the buyer for defects in construction.

It is estimated that the aggregate price of all airspaces to be sold to third parties within the Tower will amount to approximately €32 million.

“The fact that up till 31 December 2018, 92% of the accommodation serviced apartment units on offer for sale had secured a preliminary agreement with prospective buyers at the desired prices, the level of interest and demand for high-end property is and will continue to be strong and grow in the foreseeable future,” Mercury Finance said in its bond issue prospective.

“A trend which continues to emerge in this segment of the property market, also due to the fact that an increasing number of high net worth individuals are getting interested in investing in property in Malta, is a preference for high quality accommodation, forming part of a mixed use development which encompasses catering offerings, public spaces and other amenities.”

Mercury Projects Finance has issued two bonds at a total of €22.5 million to finance its project. Up until August 2018, Portelli was the sole owner of Mercury Projects Finance; Adrian Buttigieg then was issued with 50% of the share capital. Yet only a few months later, Portelli and Buttigieg agreed that the latter would no longer be involved in the project, and by December Portelli was once again the sole owner of MPF.

Apart from the 32-storey tower, another 23-storey building at Mercury House will include 99 new residential units, a 240-room hotel, as well as 3,000sq.m of retail space and 4,600sq.m of offices. That will also mean the total number of apartments on the site will increase from 275 to 374.

The study concludes that the project will create an average of 998 new car trips every day.

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