Smart City transfers 35,000 sq.m of floor space to Shoreline

SmartCity Malta will transfer over 28,800 square metres of space for residential development to the new Shoreline development

Constructed over 12 levels, the Shoreline development includes apartments and a two-storey commercial complex with retail shops and a supermarket partially located below ground, and a three-storey underground car par
Constructed over 12 levels, the Shoreline development includes apartments and a two-storey commercial complex with retail shops and a supermarket partially located below ground, and a three-storey underground car par

SmartCity Malta, the company once tasked to build an ‘internet city’ at Xghajra, will transfer over 28,800 square metres of space for residential development to the new Shoreline development.

SCM will also transfer another 6,700 sq.m of retail development space from its project to the area now earmarked for the private Shoreline development.

Constructed over 12 levels, the Shoreline development includes apartments and a two-storey commercial complex with retail shops and a supermarket partially located below ground, and a three-storey underground car park.

The Planning Authority was informed of the land transfer in October 2017 through a letter in which the SmartCity CEO informed the Planning Authority’s CEO, Johann Buttigieg, of their consent to the development.

In July 2017, MaltaToday had revealed that a promise-of-sale agreement between SCM and the company Ricasoli Properties had already been signed for the sale of land to be developed into the luxury Shoreline apartments, despite changes to the Smart City masterplan not yet having been voted upon by Maltese MPs.

The transfer of residential and commercial space from other areas of Smart City to the Shoreline project now means that the project may be approved before the masterplan is changed.

Originally development in the area earmarked for Shoreline development was limited to 13,500 sq.m of residential development and 6000 sq.m of commercial development.

This agreement has now cleared the ground for the Shoreline project without any need to amend the Smart City masterplan. An application to increase the residential component in this masterplan is still pending. While the area for ICT and media offices – the original aim of the project – will increase by over 46,000 sq.m, or 29% over what was allowed in 2008, the area for commercial and residential development will now increase by 139,624 sq.m.

This would represent a 90% increase in the floor area dedicated to the two secondary components of the original ‘internet city’ project.

The original Smart City development approved in 2009 envisioned a mix of apartments (207), villas (50) and townhouses (77) which together provided over 61,000 sq.m of residential accommodation. The Shoreline project alone will now include 42,300 sq.m of residential development.

The changes in development parameters are bound to result in a greater environmental impact. A 12-storey building will have “potential implications for visual amenity” and long-distance views according to the developers’ project development statement. A full Environment Impact Assessment is required for the project.

Some 210,000 cubic metres of construction waste will be excavated to make way for three levels of underground parking. The material will be dumped at sea.

Studies also show that traffic will increase by an additional 1,350 cars.

The project is just six metres away from a coastal artillery searchlight emplacement and 38 metres away from a beach defence post, both enjoying Grade 2 protection.

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