The Planning Authority has given its green light to The Silver Horse project, which will see the renovation of a Valletta palazzino into a mixed use residential, commercial and office space complex.

Located on the corner of St Christopher and Strait Street, the massive block with a total floor area of more than 9,000 square metres will see internal alterations and structural changes for the mixed-use development.

The structural alterations will convert the existing substandard residential block of 34 apartments into 20 dwellings, offices and a restaurant. Moreover, the planning watchdog also approved alterations to approved catering establishments. The structural alterations within the building include the replacement of dangerous roofs and opening of walls to create larger spaces.

This will be the second phase of the project, as the project’s first phase involves the regeneration of the lower levels into the now popular entertainment district known as ‘The Gut’, run by the VBL Group, which also filed this application.

The project, called The Silver Horse, was described by VBL Group as “the largest site to be developed within the city walls in the last few years” and will see the property, which today is in a badly run-down state, regenerated into a mix of residential units, food and beverage commercial outlets and a large office block.

VBL Group chairman Andrei Imbroll described the project as an ambitious brown field project within a World Heritage Site and which will regenerate a substantial part of Strait Street and lower Valletta.

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“We are saving this building from certain collapse after decades of neglect. The building’s features and characteristics will not only be preserved and restored but will be enhanced for future generations to enjoy,” Dr Imbroll said in comments following the approval.

The project had originally been recommended for refusal but certain amendments made during the various stages of the planning application, including the removal of a setback floor and the downsizing of the residential part, made the project acceptable to the PA.

Given the shortfall in parking spaces provided on site, the developer will contribute for these through the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme (CPPS).

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