Thursday, September 15, 2005

Commemorative Stone chronicles start of Waterport Terraces

• 2,200 brochures collected

Peter Caruana, the Chief Minister, yesterday placed a commemorative stone in the Waterport Terraces housing development, where work is well under way.

The stone was, in fact, a box, into which had been placed a sealed plastic envelope containing editions of yesterday’s daily local newspapers and a set of Gibraltar coins.

The ‘time capsule’ captures a moment in Gibraltar’s history that will now be buried in the foundations of the new housing estate.

On the site yesterday, workers whipped by cold gusts of Levanter wind and rain drove piles into the ground to prepare the foundations of the development.

Guests invited to the stone-laying ceremony – including Housing Minister Clive Beltran, government officials, executives from construction company Brues & Fernandez, and others involved in the project – sipped their drinks and nibbled on tapas as they chatted and watched from the relative shelter of an impromptu marquee erected on the site.

GRP Investments, the government company handling the promotion and sale of the new flats at Waterport Terraces, said 2,200 brochures had been handed out to potential buyers since the launch of the marketing campaign at the beginning of the month. Not every person who collected a brochure is expected to submit an application, but it is a clear indication of the high level of interest in the project. Once the applications are processed after the September 30th closing date, the government will have a better idea of the overall interest, not just in terms of numbers but also in the type and size of homes people are after. That should help officials to balance the supply of new housing stock with demand.

Mr Caruana said yesterday that Waterport Terraces alone would not satisfy the current requirement for low-cost housing, but that several other similar projects would create “at least” another 1000 such homes roughly within a similar timescale. He gave no details, except to say that the first of those projects – some of which include private-sector involvement – could be announced within the next six weeks.

Waterport Terraces will cost around £50 million to build and envisages construction of 536 properties, of which 396 are for sale and 140 are earmarked for use by senior citizens.

Related Articles:

01 September 2005 - Demand for housing confirmed as people queue up

31 August 2005 - Reform Party questions 'loaded dice' in new Waterport housing allocation scheme

30 August 2005 - Government publishes terms for Waterport Terraces

23 August 2005 - Government announces start of information and sales campaign for Waterport Terraces housing development

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