The government has published a call for proposals from prospective bidders to regenerate the site of the Chalet in Sliema, asking investors for a minimum capital spend of €3.2 million.
The site is currently nothing more than a concrete platform on the rocks jutting out of Għar id-Dud promenade in Sliema. The chalet that gave it its current name closed 60 years ago and what remained of the structure - columns supporting a roof at the level of the promenade, was dismantled about 16 years ago.
What requirements must bids satify?
In a press release, Malta Strategic Partnership Projects said that it wants to attract bidders to transform the site into a high-quality entertainment and catering facility.
The request for proposals calls for partial investments of €1.4 million every seven years during the 65-year concession term, which will see the government benefit from an annual ground rent of €97,000 and a minimum concession fee of €125,000.
MSPP said that interested bidders must also draw up a corporate social responsibility plan that allocates investment towards upgrading the site's surrounding area, including guaranteeing public access to the foreshore and general embellishment.
Bidders must also consider environmental safeguards and green measures. They will also be responsible for measures to mitigate the impact of rough seas in the area.
MSPP said the redevelopment of the Chalet is set to generate 53 full-time jobs and nearly €860,000 in tax revenue during its operational phase.
During the investment phase, the project is expected to generate 18 full-time jobs and €233,000 in tax revenue.
The call closes on February 1 and proposals. The final project will have to be approved in parliament to move ahead to its implementation stage.
Built in 1926, the Chalet in Għar id-Dud was an iconic dance hall, home to Malta’s finest entertainment and musical acts. After it was shut down and abandoned in 1963 and the concrete platform that the building once stood on is all that remains.
A development brief for the Chalet was approved by parliament in 2002, but successive governments have never seen the project to fruition and the final remnants of the building were pulled down in 2006.
Former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi had floated the idea of rebuilding the Chalet in 2017, but earlier this month Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that the site would be one of three sites being opened out for outside investment through a public-private partnership.