In a development of interest to anyone currently conducting a Gibraltar property search, the Gibraltar government has confirmed that it will issue a tender this week for the sale and refurbishment of the Old Married Quarters site on Castle Road.
The pre-war building consists of 10 flats, and was formerly part of the government’s rental housing stock. However, the site has been under the management of the Housing Department, which has been working to relocate existing tenants as it seeks to decant the area to allow for its regeneration.
“No longer cost-effective to maintain as rental stock”
The Government stated that it was announcing a tender for the properties as “part of the Government’s ambitious urban renewal scheme which entails the release of pre-war properties for sale as these are no longer cost-effective to maintain as rental stock. Their release is co-ordinated so as to enable tenders in clusters.”
The area surrounding the Old Married Quarters is no stranger to successful regeneration projects, with one example being the Police Barracks building, which now provides housing as part of The Arches development. Sure enough, it is expected that the latest tender will enable similar opportunities on a smaller scale.
Excitement about the prospects for regeneration
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, described the site as “impressive” and “ripe for regeneration”, adding: “Whereas a lot of our upper town was allowed to fall into disrepair for many years, we have seen a lot of regeneration of the upper town as a result of this Government’s co-ordinated approach to urban renewal”.
He explained that this strategy was “especially good as many of these properties continue to provide housing once sold.”
Meanwhile, housing minister Samantha Sacramento observed: “The Government’s pre-war rental housing stock is difficult to maintain. Previously, such dwellings were left to lie empty, but now the Housing Department proactively identify such properties, and co-ordinate their sale at tender”.
She continued: “Where some flats within a tenement may still be occupied, arrangements are made for tenants to be reaccommodated. Many of these tenants living in the upper town were elderly tenants, so they have benefitted enormously from this process.”
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