ITS project: An icon of ‘the commercialisation of our way of life’

The Institute for Tourism Studies project by DB Group in St Julian’s is intended to be a strong statement signifying the commercialisation of the Maltese way of life, according to an Environmental Planning Statement prepared by ERSLI, a consultancy firm hired by the developer.

The project consists of a 37-storey residential tower, a 17-storey luxury hotel, a casino and a shopping mall on the site of an educational institute that has to be moved to accommodate this project. The document states: “While the apparent success of the financial services sector in Malta may be a development which is welcomed by many, the type of physical development which is often associated with this sector may be considered by critics an arrogant intrusion into the traditional landscape.”

Photomontage of ITS project as viewed from Paceville

The ITS land was awarded to the DB Group by government following an expression of interest for which only the group applied. The planning process for this particular project has commenced before the approval of the controversial Paceville Masterplan. The  Auditor General is investigating the transfer of land to DB San Gorg Property.

Apart from the massive visual impact highlighted by the EPS, here are the key numbers taken from the statement that stand out:

  • 336,085: the tonnes of waste that will be generated during the demolition and excavation phases of the proposed development; this includes 285,300 tonnes of rock. Only 49,275.25 tonnes (14.66%) will be re-used or recycled. This is equivalent to a 22% of all construction waste produced in 2015.
  • 7,800: the number of additional car trips that will be generated by the project along the streets in the area.
  • 30: the number of truck operations that will be required every day.
  • 80 metres: the height of the tower crane required.
  • 11,500 kw: the electricity load required annually by the project, practically the same amount used by Mater Dei Hospital and a quarter of the total load that will be utilised by the new development envisioned in the yet-to-be approved Paceville Masterplan.
  • 2,560 kw: the amount of electricity produced from the solar panels that will be incorporated in the development.
  • 7,429: the expected number of hotel guests each year.
  • 2,500: the expected number of ‘high roller guests’ in the casino each year.
  • €5,001,000: the amount paid to government in first year of concession.
  • €21,400,000: the amount paid to government for the concession by 2024.
  • €5,000: the ground rent paid to government till 2021.
  • €11,200,000: the ground rent paid to government between 2022 and 2028.
  • €32,000,000: the total amount paid directly by the developers to government up to 2028.

Photomontage of Project as viewed from St George’s beach

Photomontage of the project as viewed from Pembroke





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