MIDI p.l.c. this evening inaugurated its €60 million retail project The Point, Malta's largest shopping mall and part of the Tigné Point development.

The Point was inaugurated by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi in the presence of Alec Mizzi, Chairman, Tigné Mall Ltd, Albert Mizzi, Chairman, Midi plc and their respective boards of directors as well as all the retail tenants and their guests.

The Point is spread over a footprint of 28,000 square metres, 14,000 of which is rentable space occupied by 49 retail units, many of which are flagship stores of well-known global brands already established locally and a host of new names making their debut in Malta.

Works on The Point commenced towards the end of 2007 and saw over 150 employees working on the project on a full-time basis. Throughout the past few months, when the tenants took possession of their respective spaces, another 400 employees were engaged by the tenants to oversee and conclude the works on all the outlets.

Addressing those present, Dr Alec Mizzi explained how Midi plc, in its bid to develop Tigné Point and Manoel Island was committed to produce a mixed use development, including residential and commercial spaces, the latter in turn sub-divided into offices, hospitality and retail spaces.

"Although Malta has various other retail offerings, the concept of a mall is the prime one and intended not only to service the needs of our discerning residents, but to create a living and commercially sustainable retail centre, in line with best international standards and practice. In so doing, we have also managed to retain the existent old British barracks where each stone was painstakingly dismantled, stored and rebuilt under the guidance and supervision of Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna."

Dr Mizzi announced that Midi would be building and operating other non-residential units including offices, a hospitality offering, a health centre and a yacht marina. This besides its extensive restoration of Fort Manoel, Fort Tigné and the Lazzaretto and its partnership with Siemens in forming SIS, which offers building services and communication services to Midi residents and commercial operators, and beyond.

In his speech, Dr Gonzi said this event symbolised the transformation of Tigne Point from a neglected and derelict site to a prime urban environment.

“Given the exceptional uncertain economic climate during which this €60 million project was being undertaken, the opening of this flagship complex is even more significant. It is a beacon of hope that demonstrates confidence and trust in Malta’s future economic prospects - economic prospects which Midi plc, a Maltese private investor, always believed in,” Dr Gonzi said.

He praised the developers for the manner how they had handled this urban regeneration project to make the most of Malta’s unique identity.

The government itself was embarking on a chain of urban regeneration projects starting from Sliema onto Valletta and the Cottonera area.

“With the City Gate project about to start we are about to witness a new renaissance era for our Capital City. Together with a number of restoration projects already underway we will restore the dignity to Valletta whilst stimulating the economy through additional investment,” Dr Gonzi said.

“We want the whole country to engage in a national effort to upgrade our product generating a sense of pride in what is ours, in what makes us Maltese, proud of our history and our heritage.”

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