Kuwaiti real estate magnate Najeeb Al Saleh, who is also the incumbent chairman of Fimbank, is set to consolidate a full takeover of the €250 million Mistra Heights development project, as negotiations with his original Maltese partners are in full swing and are expected to be concluded as early as next week.
Reliable sources have confirmed that Al Saleh is determined to see the project through to fruition, and has paid up the €750,000 MEPA validation fee for the application after months of uncertainty while the project was entrusted to Maltese partners JPM Brothers through the locally registered company Gemxija Crown Ltd.
Business Today has learnt that a team of Kuwaiti accountants are expected in Malta next week with a brief to settle all pending bills, including months of unpaid salaries of employees that were laid off when the project stalled.
Al Saleh - who owns Al Massaleh Real Estates Ltd in Kuwait – was originally a partner in the Maltese-Kuwaiti joint venture which saw through the purchase and demolition of the former Mistra Village, previously owned by the Corinthia Group.
Mistra Heights has already been granted an outline development permit from MEPA, which also issued a formal validation to the submitted application for development following the payment in March of €750,000.
The project - heavily criticised by environmental groups – was originally expected to be finished by 2012, however the target date for completion is now 2014.
Mistra Heights provides for the development of high-end spacious family apartments, holiday residences, penthouses, a mix of retail and recreational facilities and circa 27,000 square metres of landscaped areas.
At the time of acquisition, there was a pending planning application for a 23-storey development.
If built conventionally as outlined in the North West local plan, the development would have allowed the construction of more than 1,400 units and would have resulted in a high-density construction site. The current amended designs provide for the construction of 880 units.