Marsaskala Residents’ Network opposes extension of built footprint of abandoned Jerma site

Jerma’s sea-facing residential units being sold off at €850,000 a pop, ‘buy-to-let’ properties at €279,000

 

The Marsaskala Residents Network has expressed strong objections to any extension of the built footprint of the abandoned Jerma Hotel site after The Shift revealed last week that the project fronted by Joseph Portelli was selling residential units when an application for a permit had not even been filed.

The residents’ group said the massive project envisaged by Portelli for the Jerma site “is yet again another case of a project that is being set before permits are given, where speculation is rife, and the pressure on the PA to approve before public consultation is enormous”.

Marsaskala PN local councillor John Baptist Camilleri, who, together with the residents’ group, was consistently vocal against the Marsaskala marina proposal, told The Shift that “this land was sacrificed for a hotel” and that “it must only remain a hotel”.

Permanent sea-facing residential units forming part of the abandoned Jerma hotel in Marsaskala are being sold on plan without a permit starting from €850,000, with units being sold off as ‘buy-to-let’ only starting from €279,000.

“We haven’t seen detailed plans, however we are strongly against any extension of the built footprint or further invisibility of St Thomas Tower from land or sea,” a spokesperson for the residents’ group said.

The local councillor also told The Shift that if the people behind Portelli’s project “cannot sustain a hotel” without residential units, “then they must clear the site and return it to its original form”.

“Another worrying factor is that two pieces of land adjacent to St Thomas Tower were also given to the owners to create a larger footprint, which paves the way for more manipulation,” Camilleri said.

In their responses, the residents’ group said they also oppose any form of land reclamation taking place in the area and that they do not favour the inclusion of residential units for Portelli’s project.

According to new information obtained from resellers marketing Portelli’s project, the residential units are divided into two categories: the cheapest options are 70sqm studio and one-bedroom apartments facing St Thomas Tower starting from €279,000. A different agent selling properties from the same site was stating such units were for sale starting from €290,000.

However, buyers would not be able to permanently settle in these residencies, with sources informing The Shift that they are being sold as ‘buy-to-let’ properties only. Questions have been sent to J Portelli Projects, the developer’s company, about why these units are being sold this way and why the units are being marketed before the PA approves the project. No replies were received at the time of publication.

Buyers seeking to purchase one of the permanent residential properties must choose the more expensive route. These units, around 160sqm in size and featuring three bedrooms, are being sold starting from €850,000. Overall, agents have been tight-lipped about further details, asking for one-to-one meetings to share more detailed project plans.

Portelli’s developments, including Paceville’s 32-storey Mercury Towers, have been consistently approved by the Planning Authority (PA) even when faced with significant opposition and documented abuse of planning laws.

Three months after Portelli’s acquisition of the Jerma site, which was previously designated as a tourism-only site, the government changed the development brief, allowing for residential development.

Portelli is the same developer who, during the general elections, organised a dinner for major Gozitan contractors and entrepreneurs, with Prime Minister Robert Abela as the guest of honour on the eve of a fundraising telethon organised by the Party.

The development brief for the Jerma site states it would take up a total of 65,000sqm, with 26,000sqm allotted for residential development.

According to adverts on social media, the project would also feature a five-star hotel and commercial outlets. One agent told a source who contacted The Shift that the developer aims for a five-year time frame to complete the project.

                           
                               
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carlos
2 days ago

And later the marina. This corrupt government is doing whatever satisfies his corrupt lot.

C. Fenech
C. Fenech
1 day ago
Reply to  carlos

Ha ha, it’s the economy my friend

carlos
1 day ago
Reply to  C. Fenech

It’s NOT THE ECONOMY,it’s the corruption and greed.

KLAUS
KLAUS
2 days ago

It remains so:
Building without permission: Demolition or dismantling.
So it is a game of cat and mouse in which MALTA always loses.

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
2 days ago

Personally, I am not against innovative projects since they might also alleviate the overall standard of neighbourhoods and though increasing the value of properties already owned.
However, the biggest challenge remains that of the inconvenience caused to residents during the implementation of projects. We are small and densely populated, with no space for maneuvres and the Gov cannot continue to ignore the tragedy that we are living in. Busy roads, closed roads, traffic deviations, huge cranes, pollution, confusion, plenty of people around…..I feel suffocated, I want to scream!!! Finally at home, the best place to be😊

Edward Grima Baldacchino
Edward Grima Baldacchino
6 hours ago

Innovative, challenge? Come on, return the site to it’s original and natural state if you want to be truly innovative, there is no better design than that of mother nature

A. Fan
A. Fan
1 day ago

Non-binding zoning, non-binding contracts with airline workers, non-binding electoral promises, non-binding rule of law (if you know, or can pay, the right people)… Anyone else detecting a pattern here?

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 day ago

What is totally unacceptable, is that he is marketing the project before having planning approval!
This amply shows that he knows that the permit will be issued.
As Carlos in his post rightly says, the Marsascala yacht marina will follow.

makjavel
makjavel
1 day ago

There goes Portelli with his Up Yours sign. Skalin, Tnejjek biekom u bezaq f’wicckom . Issa morru Kastilja u ghaslu wasla s’ghand dak li jorbot ghandkom.

carlos
1 day ago

You were stolen of your vote by the corrupt lot. You were cheated, now wait for more. Enjoy

Alfred Seguna
Alfred Seguna
1 hour ago

Il kostruzjoni hija ir ROVINA ta Malta.Ghalfejn dan it tkissir u id dizastru kollu.Lanqas HITLER ma kisser lill Malta daqshekk.Dan kollu biex jimlew il bwiet xi ftit nies u xi ohrajn li jghalqu ghajnejhom.Il gvern halqu maghluq u l’oppozizjoni halqa maghluq ukoll.Tghid ghala mhux soltu?????.??

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