27 June - 3.July, 2001

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MIDI unveils plans for prime office space at Tigne’ Point

MDI plc has announced that, between 2003 and 2005, it will be launching on to the market substantial office space of some 10,000 to 12,000 square metres. This office space development is to form part of the first phase of the Lm140 million project, which is initially focused on Tigne` Point.

"The provision of new international standard quality office space in Tigne’ Point with the complementary retail and residential elements will be unique," explained MIDI Chairman, Albert Mizzi. "Besides being part of a new, modern and totally planned development, Tigne’s proximity to Valetta, being adjacent to Sliema, the excellent ease of access via the underground road passing through Tigne’ Point and the ample parking, will combine to make Tigne’ Point the prime central business district in Malta.

Mr Mizzi adds, "The office offering at Tigne` Point will be unique in Malta. In addition, there is the bonus of very good dining within Fort Tigne’ and enjoyment of a comprehensive and high quality retail mall, supermarket, and a health and leisure complex."

Following the project’s official launch last December, MIDI is finalising the detailed plans leading to the planning permits for the execution of the three initial phases of the Tigne’ Point project.

"The architecture of the office block at Tigne’," explains MIDI Chief Executive, Ben Muscat, "will reflect the contemporary nature of the whole development. Standing independently on the north side of the Plaza will be the eight floors office block comprising 8,000 to 10,000 square metres of modern office space with floors accommodating upwards of some 800 square metres of usable office space per floor.

"Internal planning objectives are to maximise good views from the space occupied, particularly unobstructed sea views. Planning considerations are focusing on flexibly providing large open plan office floor areas, which can be taken up by tenants in incremental modules of about 100 square metres each."

The MIDI consortium is studying how to replicate the specification provisions of modern office space offered in more developed office markets internationally, whereby raised floors are standard for IT services flexibility. Other considerations include ceiling, lighting, air-conditioning and power supply systems that are grid based to permit flexible and cost effective utilisation by incoming occupants of the office space. The intent is to contribute towards the minimisation of additional capital expense a user may need to spend in order to fit-out the space and use for their respective businesses.

"Internationally, the trend is towards the reduction of individual ‘private’ offices and more towards the use of open plan. This greatly enhances intra staff communication and workforce management, while significantly reduces the occupier’s capital cost both at set up stage and when future organisational change so requires," comments Mr Muscat.

Corporate trends have led to private offices for individuals being limited to only most senior operating heads. Meeting rooms provide facilities for internal and external meetings and confidentiality where required.

The flexibility of design will ensure not only a state of the art building design in terms of safety and comfort but it will also ensure that the requirements of large corporate occupiers at one end and smaller professional practices at the lower end, are equally catered for.

A further 2,000 square metres of office space is to be developed around the south and east end of Tigne’ Plaza in lower rise buildings of four or less floors. Ground floor space will be dedicated for a range of speciality retail use.

Mr Muscat adds, "These offices, termed as "community" offices, are planned on a basic size module of circa 50 square metres and are expendable according to the occupier’s requirements. All the offices will have attractive views over the Plaza and some may have back views over secluded landscaped gardens of Tigne` South."

MIDI has planned these community offices to make available affordably sized space for the smaller and independent business or activity, so essential to creating a balanced and workable texture of occupying population. In recent years, the office market in Malta has begun to develop in a more serious manner. MIDI carried out what it believes to be the first extensive generic research into the current state and future potential trends of the Malta office market. The planning and design of office space at Tigne’ has taken into serious consideration both the volume of local requirement and the demands of high quality office space needed by the latest organisational culture.

Office space will be available for outright purchase and for lease. MIDI’s current thinking is to encourage the direct sale of the smaller module community office space. With regard to the trophy office block, MIDI are studying the advantages of managing the whole block as a fully tenanted property. They are also considering the innovative possibility of giving tenants the opportunity to acquire shares in a property holding company if they wish to have an ownership element in the property they occupy

The professional approach towards the development and subsequent management of the office space at Tigne’ has not gone unnoticed. Mr Mizzi said: "MIDI is already receiving regular enquiries regarding the type, size, quality and timing of the office development. This is happening even though, MIDI has not yet finalised its designs for this premium type office space or made any public statements specific to office development at Tigne` Point."

"Sliema is already considered as a choice office location and according to statistics in hand, is fast overtaking Valletta in this respect. With its unique location and attributes, Tigne’ clearly points to being Malta’s premier office location in this 21st century," concludes Mr Mizzi.

MIDI’s recently launched website at www.midimalta.com will be regularly updated with the latest information about office space development at Tigne’ Point.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt