Mercury skyscraper grows to 33 floors as planning board approves three more storeys

Malta’s highest building will get three new floors as the Planning Authority also approves a 19-storey hotel next to it in the Mercury House project

Artist's impression of the Mercury Tower in Paceville, which will now have three more floors added to it
Artist's impression of the Mercury Tower in Paceville, which will now have three more floors added to it

The Mercury House tower in Paceville will grow taller by three more floors after the Planning Authority gave the go-ahead in a sitting today.

Designed by world famous architect Zaha Hadid, the tower will now rise to 33 floors from the 31 originally approved two years ago.

The Mercury House project fronted by developer Joseph Portelli will also get a 19-storey hotel next to the tower that will be interconnected.

The latest approval increases the number of residential apartments from the 275 approved two years ago to 429 as a result of another nine-floor building, called Mercury suites.

Only St Julian’s mayor Albert Buttigieg and NGO representative Annick Bonello voted against, while the remaining nine members voted in favour.

The mayor questioned the approval of the project in a “piecemeal fashion” and lamented the lack of a master plan for the locality which is becoming too congested by traffic and noise.

The approved works include the demolition of the ex-Go exchange building and the development of an underground car park to cater for 300 cars, the construction of a 19-storey hotel, a multi-purpose hall, an entertainment area and a stand-alone nine-storey residential building.

Restoration and refurbishment works will be carried out on the underground vaults which will be used as ancillary facilities to the hotel. 46% of the site, equivalent to 4,300sq.m will be open public spaces.

The planning board also imposed a planning contribution of over €460,000 which will be used for future urban improvement projects within the locality of St Julian’s.

In a statement the PA described the project as an “iconic landmark destination at the gateway of Paceville”.