Private helipad proposed for 35-storey tower in Gzira

Latest plans for Gzira's Metropolis is communal outdoor swimming pool and deck on south tower's roof, while the north tower will include a private helipad.

The proposed Metropolis development in Gzira
The proposed Metropolis development in Gzira

A private helipad is being proposed on top of the already approved 35-storey tower in Gzira.

The development permit for the Metropolis development in Gzira, which belongs to a member of the Husni Bey family of Libyan entrepreneurs, was issued in 2009 and renewed in June 2013, for three high-rise buildings consisting of 15, 29 and 35 floors over a public piazza connecting Enrico Mizzi and Testaferrata streets.

According to the latest plans, the 15-storey high south tower will also include a communal outdoor swimming pool and deck on its roof, while the north tower will include a private helipad.

The application also foresees an increase in car parking spaces and the creation of an enclosed public plaza with “overhanging landscaped terraces”. 

They are also proposing a change of use to the 29-floor east tower, from residential apartments to offices.

The high-rise originally included 191 apartments, a health club, leisure facilities, offices, retail outlets, a supermarket and 500 parking spaces distributed on four underground levels.

In June 2013, architect Edwin Mintoff told a MEPA public hearing that the open space was “generous”, similar in size to St John’s Square in Valletta and that the square would be level with the road, adding to the regeneration of Testaferrata Street.

Motor vehicle importers and sellers formerly occupied the site and the land use included showrooms, offices, car repair workshops and maintenance garages.

With a total area of 6,700 square metres, the site fronts the Rue d’Argens, Enrico Mizzi, Giorgio Mitrovich and Testaferrata streets.

Environmentalists had expressed concern about the approval of the high-rise development before the approval of a policy regulating high buildings. The policy, which proposes Gzira as one of the localities where such development can take place, was only issued for public consultation in December 2013.