After years in limbo, works are underway to continue the development of the Metropolis Gzira project, 33-storey high building overlooking an internal square. Keith Seychell, a local real-estate and restaurant entrepreneur confirmed his involvement in the project with this newsroom.
The first permit for the metropolis project was issued 14 years ago in 2009, with the objective to develop three high-rise buildings on Testaferrata street. The permit was valid for five years and was renewed once in 2013, and again in 2020.
The project is owned by Libyan entrepreneur Jalal Husni Bey who is part of the Libyan conglomerate HB Group, and Mr Seychell is working with him on the project.
Mr Husni Bey and Mr Seychell are business partners not just for the Metropolis project. While Mr Seychell is the director of the Capo Crudo restaurant, Mr Husni Bey is the majority shareholder, owning 19,998 out of 20,000 shares.
The Metropolis development is planned to include residential units, offices, retail outlets, a supermarket, and an underground car park. In 2014 a revised permit included the addition of a helipad and an outdoor swimming pool on the roof of one of the towers. The permit was to expire in 2020, at which point it was renewed again.
Two of the biggest issues regarding the held-back development were uncertainties regarding excavating beneath third-party property and finding contractors to take up the job. However, it appears that those setbacks have been cleared.
There was also an incident in 2021 which held the project back due to concerns that its architectural plans were plagiarised by a Dutch firm. However, this was eventually resolved by the courts.
However, everything seems back on track and Mr Seychell confirmed, “work on the Metropolis project is continuing.”
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