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Eastside deal completed as TNG pays £90m and takes possession of reclamation plot

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

The lease for the transfer of the Eastside reclamation plot to TNG Global Foundation was completed last Friday and the Gibraltar Government has been paid the agreed £90m cash consideration agreed when the deal was first announced, No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

The relevant lease was signed by the Governor on Friday and the Gibraltar Government has now provided TNG with vacant possession of the site.

TNG last year secured outline planning permission for an ambitious plan to construct a mix of residential and hotel accommodation on the site next to a marina and a new botanical garden.

The £90m payment is part of a wider deal announced in October 2021 under which TNG will also undertake further works in the area valued at a further £240m, including sea defence works, affordable housing, berths and public parking.

TNG, a foundation linked to the Vietnamese businessman who owns Trusted Novus Bank, secured outline planning permission last year for the development of the Eastside reclamation.

The government says the project will be hugely beneficial to Gibraltar but residents of Catalan Bay fear it could have a detrimental impact on the environment.

In granting outline planning permission, the Development and Planning Commission stressed that each phase of the project will be subject to full planning applications.

“Since the announcement in October 2021, TNG has undertaken a huge amount of work to get to a position to be able to sign the agreement with the Government last Friday,” said TNG’s Adrian Olivero.

“We have already invested considerable amounts in developing our plans for the area, obtaining outline planning permission as well as carrying the cost of the construction of the revetment to the north of the site, to enable phase two of Hassan Centenary Terraces to progress.”

“We now look forward to starting work on the site to make those plans a reality for TNG and, in particular, for the people of Gibraltar who will benefit from a magnificent new and modern development on the Eastside.”

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the transfer of land was “a very positive step” toward delivering a project that would benefit the whole community.

“The plans that have been given outline planning permission will deliver a whole host of new facilities for our people,” he said.

“Additionally, the finalising of this transaction demonstrates a huge amount of confidence in Gibraltar and its economy.”

“Sir Joe’s estimation in 2021 was that the development had a potential economic impact of £2.5 billion, the whole value of the GDP again.”

“Given inflation, the economic impact of the project is now likely to exceed £2.75 billion.”

“The benefits to the Gibraltar economy and all entities within it will be massive and the completion of this transaction with a Group that has a demonstrable track record in Gibraltar will therefore be something for everyone to celebrate.”

“Importantly, an area that has been derelict for some years and an eyesore will be transformed by the commencement of works and development into a residential and leisure area without comparison, turning a negative into a positive for all the people of Gibraltar.”

No.6 said TNG has already made “huge progress” on the revetment required to enable works on phase two of Hassan Centenary Terraces to commence.

The value of these works to the taxpayer is over £9m to date, No.6 said.

These works will be followed by coastal protection works that will require the construction of a revetment costed at over £100m.

“These are essential works for the protection of the existing reclamation, without which the project would not be able to proceed,” No.6 said in the statement.

TNG is involved in a number of projects around Gibraltar, including the construction of two new schools on Europort Avenue which are near completion.

The foundation is also poised to file plans for the development of the old Bayside School plot.

In the statement, the Chief Minister thanked everyone involved in finalising the Eastside deal.

“For the Government, I want to thank Albert Mena, who as Financial Secretary started this negotiation; Hector Montado, the Chief Technical Officer; and John Paul Fa and the legal team at Isolas, led by Peter Isola, Christian Hernandez, Mark Isola and Samantha Grimes, for their extraordinary work and diligence,” Mr Picardo said.

“I also want to warmly thank Adrian Olivero for TNG, who has been committed to getting this transaction done and the TNG legal team led by Ian Felice, Gemma Vasquez-Arias, Nick Howard and Tania Rahmany at Hassans.”

“Finally, I want to thank GJBS for their work in clearing the site in time for completion and JT Security for the removal of derelict vehicles.”

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