June 01, 2018
Gibraltar’s Old Town, a charming labyrinth of Andalucian style patios, steps and passages, is steadily attracting developers, both through small individual redevelopments and as complete renovations to apartment blocks. With the general aim being that of refurbishing older buildings, these smaller projects are innovatively applying modern design elements, construction methods and materials to create modern, attractive apartments with all the features expected of modern living. These renovations are beginning to produce properties that can combine the appeal of living within Gibraltar’s historic city in a warm, friendly community with all the benefits of modern comforts, and are creating a clearly defined visual improvement to the Old Town.
In late May, the most recent plans for an Old Town residential development project were filed with Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission. This latest project, by Bado’s Garden Development Ltd., is located in a small residential area between Flat Bastion Road, Bado’s Passage and Prince Edward Road, right in the heart of the Old Town. The existing buildings in this area currently stand two storeys tall and are clearly much in need of substantial improvement. The new project would see an increase in height to four storeys, extending the apartments and redeveloping the ancillary areas around the buildings.
The apartments that will be created by this redevelopment project, designed by Arc Designs Ltd., will be a combination of one, two and three bedroom properties, with courtyards and balconies and open living spaces. There will also be a flat roof terrace for one of the top storey apartments and the buildings will also incorporate green roofs and PV panels to enhance the energy efficiency functionality of the development. Access to the development will be provided from Flat Bastion Road, with the building of a car park which will create parking spaces for eight cars.
The plans are yet to be discussed by the Development and Planning Commission, and, given that the development is set in the Old Town, where property design needs to be sensitive to heritage issues as well as incorporate environmental requirements and recognize the need to ensure adequate parking facilities, there may well be some obstacles to overcome. However, redevelopments such as these offer the area some important overall improvements, both visually and environmentally that, serve well to enhance the attractiveness of the Upper Town to smaller property investors as well as to new owner-occupiers. And with the steady modernising and physical improvements of residential accommodation, come the economic and social benefits for which a vibrant city such as Gibraltar will want to continually strive.