Whole floors forming part of a planned residential tower in St George’s Bay, located on public land developers say was sold “on the cheap”, are being advertised at €7 million to €9m each.

Although a permit has yet to be issued, estate agents are already promoting the sale of luxury apartments from level two to 34. One estate agent put a €7 million to €9 million price tag, while others are quoting the same figure on demand.

Industry sources said the advertised price tag was for the purchase of an entire floor.

“The higher you go, the higher the price tag”, the sources said.

This means that even if all 33 floors on offer sell for the minimum price tag, the developers – Db Group – will net €231 million.

The residential tower forms part of a wider development which includes a 17-storey Hard Rock Hotel, a casino and shopping mall.

The Malta Developers’ Association last year objected to the manner in which the site where the Institute of Tourism Studies used to stand – 24,000 square metres of prime property in what is dubbed the ‘golden mile’ – was passed on to the Seabank Group for €15 million.

The group has paid €5 million, with the balance being settled over the span of seven years in annual instalments starting this month.

Estate agents are requesting 10 per cent of the sale price upon signing the promise of sale agreement. A further 20 per cent will be paid upon approval of the planning permit, 30 per cent on roofing of the floor, 20 per cent on roofing of the residential tower and 20 per cent on completion.

The Seabank Group was the sole bidder for the land in a sale that was handled by Projects Malta, the public-private partnerships entity which falls under Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi’s political responsibility.

Dr Mizzi has been asked whether he still felt the ITS land sale was still good value for taxpayers’ money, given that whole floors were being sold for €7-9 million, but no replies were received by the time of writing.

The minister was also asked whether the “cheap” sale of the land had skewed the market for other developers, who now had to compete with the project but, again, he failed to reply.

According to a Paceville masterplan commissioned by the government in 2016, the ITS land was valued at over €200 million.

Dr Mizzi told Parliament last year that further income from the sale of the site would come from the €5.9 million conversion from temporary to perpetual emphyteusis, car park conversion to the tune of €500,000, redemption of groundrent amounting to €23 million, hospitality groundrent totalling €2.49 million and retail groundrent put at €8.7 million.


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