Port cottonera – A Restoration project

Port Cottonera is a project of national interest, with various areas of substantial development potential. After the issuing of a tender by the Maltese government in 1998 for the rehabilitation of the Cottonera Waterfront, Real Co. along with several other business entities, formed a consortium called Port Cottonera Ltd, which was eventually awarded the tender for the development and regeneration of this 400 year old area that forms part of the Valletta Grand Harbour.

Real Co. became the consulting project manager and was granted six months by the government to renovate and develop the new Casino from a ruin, which had been abandoned for centuries. The building was eventually sold to Casinó Municipale di Venezia Plc., which launched the third casino on the island in August 2001.

Real Co.'s experience placed it at the centre of all activity, making it the most active partner, heading intense and difficult government negotiations on sensitive development issues which involved the proper safeguard and restoration and redevelopment of this important Heritage site. Contractual conditions had to be negotiated in the interest of all parties, including the public at large.

The works were completed within six months and in doing so, Real Co. expanded its knowledge on various bespoke disciplines, including heritage restoration. This also entailed negotiations with government authorities and political entities.

When the consortium sold the Casino, Port Cottonera Ltd., continued the restorations to the Treasury Building which was transformed into a leisure and entertainment area housing upmarket restaurants and corporate penthouse offices, the Gateway Building (3,000 square metre vaults transformed into a state of the art marina related storage and chandlering facility), the Macina Fort and the Promenade.

Currently the group is in negotiations with international investors in order to develop the other areas of the project. This will be include: a promenade with a leisure area which will join the creek of 'dock 1' (a dry dock originally built by the Order of St. John); a 120-space car park to accommodate incoming visitors; a supermarket, as well as a tourist attraction area, complete with a museum within the ‘Macina’ Fort. The ‘Macina’ Fort is integral to the overall project and will eventually be restored to become a corporate office incorporating a super yacht berth alongside its wateredge.

Eventually the intention of the investors is to make an Initial Public Offering which will see the whole project listed on the Malta Stock Exchange.