Gibraltar’s New Hub in Devil’s Tower Road

01 Dec 17

Outline planning permission has just been granted for a 15-storey residential development at Devil’s Tower Road going by the name of The Hub. Yet another contribution towards Gibraltar’s rapidly-expanding private sector property portfolio, this development is nevertheless aimed at a very specific client base, and one that is not always overtly targeted by most property developers.

The developer of the Hub, Tylee Properties, is aiming to attract custom from first-time buyers, returning students, divorcees, older buyers who may not be eligible for government subsidized schemes and non-local professionals who have moved to Gibraltar for reasons of employment. Addressing the Development and Planning Commission meeting of 28th November 2017, Tylee Properties’ Director, Peter Cabezutto, said the 150 studio apartments will be a “a stepping stone for young and old who can’t get on the housing list.”

Besides being targeted at a varied client base and sectors of the community that are not always considered fully within plans for new developments, The Hub also proposes some more unusual elements. The focus of the development is on sustainable living, encompassing not just energy efficiency but also an emphasis on community spaces. The design includes shared facilities: there will be a sizeable reception area, a communal TV and games room, a gymnasium for residents and a shared laundry. 

A mixed tenure development, apartments will be available to buy or to rent. With prices starting at purchase prices of £119,000 and rental prices of £700 per month, these will be set at market rates and will fluctuate according to market conditions. Neither will the apartments be considered as Category 2 properties because of their size and lack of parking facilities.

This latter point is another unusual aspect of the development. In a departure from the usual requirements of the DPC rules that there should be one parking space created per dwelling built, The Hub only proposes to have two parking spaces to be used by a car sharing club which is to be set up. With a large multi-storey car park nearby and good public transport links in and out of the town centre, the west, south and eastern reaches of Gibraltar, The Hub is set to discourage car use. Instead, the building will be providing an off-street delivery bay and a dedicated indoor parking area for motorcycles, scooters and bicycles.

Although a fresh perspective on apartment living in the context of recent developments in Gibraltar, The Hub encompasses concepts in terms of mixed tenure, shared space and communal living that are already in use and popular in other cities of Europe.