The controversial tender the government has issued for a large green lung in Mellieha’s il-Qortin area to be turned into blocks of flats worth tens of millions of euros is earmarked for two mega-developers – Paul Attard, director of GAP Developments, and Paul Vella, a director of Ballut Blocks – through another company they co-direct, The Shift can report.
Further investigations by The Shift show that the comparatively small portion of land in the middle of the plot the Lands Authority is offering for sale by tender, which will have the right of first refusal, is currently in the possession of T&S Property Development Ltd, of which developers Attard and Vella are the directors.
This means that through this deal, which The Shift is informed is being done on the direct instructions of Land Authority CEO Robert Vella, Attard and Vella are being given the opportunity to make a killing from public land on the cheap, even though others might be interested in submitting bids.
The two mega developers are known to be close collaborators. Registered at the Mellieha residence of GAP Developments’ director Paul Attard, T&S Property Development Ltd is co-directed by Attard and Vella.
It is not yet known whether the two developers will be using this company to bid on the authority’s compromised tender, which closes this Thursday.
GAP Developments has built hundreds of flats in Mellieha in recent years, including blocks in the Il-Qortin area.
€12 million of public land to be given away on ridiculous terms
According to the Lands Authority’s curious tender revealed by The Shift yesterday, the 3,908 square metre parcel of developable public land will be given away at a ground rent of €280,000 a year.
In what industry insiders described as another giveaway, indicating that a deal has been already reached prior to the publication of the tender, the large piece of land is being sold as ‘perpetual revisable emphyteusis’ and not on an outright sale basis, with the right to redeem it during the first 15 years.
This means that while development plans are being prepared, permits are sought and eventually obtained and development gets underway, the new owners will only need to pay the ground rent, and not the sum it would have had to pay under normal acquisition terms.
This effectively means that the ground rent would be redeemed either during the development phase or when the developers start selling the apartments – when buyers would have to pay their portion of the ground rent as part of the total price of the apartment, meaning the developers will get the land almost for free.
Industry sources said that the market value of the land the authority is offering for sale currently stands at around €12 million. The authority is so far refusing to state who carried out the evaluation prior to the tender being issued.
Despite public condemnation of the government’s decision to put the precious green lung up for sale, as well as a petition by residents against the development, both Prime Minister Robert Abela and Lands Minister Silvio Schembri have not reacted.
This article has been updated to properly reflect company ownership and structures.
F’dal-pajjiż il-kuntratturi qed imexxu u huma jiddeciedu min ikun hemm fil-gvern. Il-politici huma sempliciment paravendu.
Jekk jghogbok! X idea hazina ghandek! L izviluppaturi qed juru biss isimhom u l politici kollha wara isimhom jaghmlu l business flimkien! U naf x jien nghid!
Lorry Sant & the Zejtun motley crew condemned Labour for nearly a quarter of a century….
the corrupt lot we’ve lumped ourselves with this last decade, is condemning their party for much longer, if it survives at all.
Don’t count on that prophecy. Maltese citizens have no moral compass any more.
Obviously the ground rent would then be paid by the apartment owners.
NEVER, EVER, TRUST THE PEOPLE’S REPRESENTATIVES,
THEY WILL ALWAYS, UNFAILINGLY, DECEIVE YOU.
Well, if anyone needed further proof that things would change under Robert Abela, now he has it! If they did change, it was only for the WORSE!!
Labour is lejber whatever the skin he wears and whoever leads it!
It’s just me, me and anything that remains goes for me!