Corinthia Hotels has submitted plans to build a low-lying tourist and residential complex on the site occupied by the disused Ħal Ferħ Holiday Complex, the company said.
The development, which has been branded as Corinthia Oasis, will comprise a 5-star hotel with 162 rooms and 25 hotel-serviced residences. The proposed resort and residences will rise to one and two storeys.
The area in Għajn Tuffieħa was re-zoned last year to allow the company to include residences in its development plans.
The company presented photomontages of the proposed development designed by architect Martin Xuereb. Corinthia said the design “will pay homage to traditional Maltese architecture interpreted in a contemporary style”.
The 83,000sq.m site was a military camp for the UK forces in Malta, and in the 1970s was acquired by Air Malta and turned into a tourist complex.
The resort was eventually shut down and taken over by government. It was privatised in 2009 to Island Hotels Group that acquired a permit to develop a time-share resort. The development never took place.
The site was subject to a development brief, which set strict parameters with regard to the permissible redevelopment on the site, including limiting the building footprint to 20% of the area, and not allowing for more than two storeys.
Eventually, Corinthia took over Island Hotels in 2015 and triggered a clause in the contract asking for a revision of the development brief.
The brief was updated last year through a parliamentary resolution to allow for a partial change in land use, permitting Corinthia to include 25 residences in its plans, whilst retaining tourism as the principal use.
Corinthia Chairman Alfred Pisani said: “We are very excited about this new resort. We will create a world class product that matches all that we are doing as a brand globally in the luxury sector. We are aiming at setting a new benchmark for the island. As we emerge from the most challenging period ever faced by our industry worldwide, our investment reaffirms Corinthia’s strong commitment and belief in Malta, our home country.”
The proposed plans include a 125-space underground carpark. The company is also financing a 320-space public carpark on an adjacent tract of disturbed land operated by the Malta Scouts Association.