Jerma Palace Hotel

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Jerma Palace Hotel
Jerma Palace Hotel logo.gif
Malta St Thomas Tower four.jpg
Jerma Palace Hotel in 2005
Alternative names Corinthia Jerma Palace Hotel
General information
Status Ruins
Type Hotel
Location Marsaskala, Malta
Coordinates 35°51′40″N 14°34′25″E / 35.86111°N 14.57361°E / 35.86111; 14.57361
Named for Jer-ma; Jamahiriya-Malta[citation needed]
Opened 1982
Closed March 2007
Owner Jefpet Limited
Technical details
Material Limestone
Grounds 38,745 m2 (417,050 sq ft)
Other information
Number of rooms 345

The Jerma Palace Hotel is a former four-star hotel in Marsaskala, Malta. It was opened in 1982, and was managed by Corinthia Hotels International. It was the largest hotel in southern Malta until it closed down in 2007. The building was subsequently abandoned, and it has since fallen into a state of disrepair. Plans to demolish the former hotel began in 2016.

History[edit]

The Jerma Palace Hotel was built on a headland called il-Ħamrija, close to the 17th-century Saint Thomas Tower. The land originally belonged to Franciscan Conventuals and Ivan Burridge, who sold it to San Tumas Holdings. In 1976, San Tumas sold the plot to the Libyan Foreign Investment Company. The Jerma Palace Hotel was subsequently built, and it was opened in 1982. The hotel was managed by Corinthia Hotels International through a management agreement.[1] Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had a presidential suite within the hotel.[2]

The abandoned Jerma Palace Hotel in 2016

The Jerma Palace was the largest hotel in the south of Malta,[3] and its opening contributed to transforming Marsaskala from a traditional fishing village to a small resort.[4]

The hotel closed down in March 2007,[3] and in July 2008 it was sold to the contractors Jeffrey and Peter Montebello (Jefpet Limited) for €18.6 million. In 2009, the Tumas and Gasan groups sought to transform the hotel into a "Portomaso of the south" but nothing materialized. The Montebello brothers planned to transform the former hotel into apartments, a 5-star hotel and a yacht marina.[1]

Ruins of the hotel with Saint Thomas Tower to the right, as seen in 2016

The former hotel is now in a derelict state, with parts of it having collapsed and others being in danger of collapsing. Its interior has been stripped of everything of value, with carpets, marble floors, doors, tiles and even bricks being stolen. The walls are covered in graffiti.[3] The building is occupied by squatters, and it is popular with drug addicts.[5] The former hotel also became an illegal dumping ground, with people disposing of their garbage there.[6] Rubbish left at the hotel caused a number of fires within the building.[7]

In July 2015 the Marsaskala local council wrote to the Planning Authority that “the council is opposed to any application which includes the development of apartments”.[8]

In December 2015, it was claimed that Libyan people smugglers were using the Jerma Palace Hotel as a drop off point for Syrian refugees to illegally enter Malta.[9]

In 2016, plans were made for redevelopment of the site. The plans had included two residential towers, one of 44 and another of 32 storeys, together with a 22-storey hotel on reclaimed land in the vicinity.[8]

Following a request by the Marsaskala Local Council[10] and the issue of an enforcement notice,[11] on 20 August 2016 the Planning Authority ordered the hotel's owners to demolish the building.[6] On that same day, the building caught fire but it was put out by the Civil Protection Department.[7]

The site of the hotel, which has been valued at €20.8 million, is to be sold at a judicial auction in October 2016. The demolition of the dilapidated hotel buildings is to cost around €1.5 million.[12]

In September 2016 the owners appealed against an Enforcement Order by the Planning Authority.[8]

In December 2017 the Marsaskala local council, including Labour Mayor Mario Calleja, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new project by developer Charles Camilleri which includes a 13-storey hotel as well as an apartment complex, in contradiction with the same council's July 2015 position. The development foresees a 7,000 square metre footprint with a floor area of 61,000 square metres, as well as a 10,500 square metre public park around St Thomas tower. The proposal has not been submitted to planning process yet, so there is no environmental impact assessment.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dalli, Miriam (21 May 2015). "Residential units, hotel and yacht marina eyed at former Jerma site". Malta Today. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Zahra, Angelo (12 April 2007). "The Jerma Palace Hotel saga". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Johnston, Waylon (19 April 2014). "Former top hotel is a dangerous wreck". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Richards, Brian (2008). Malta. New Holland Publishers. p. 73. ISBN 9781845378714. 
  5. ^ Xuereb, Matthew (15 April 2010). "Planning authority still awaiting brief for Jerma Palace Hotel site project". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "The Jerma Palace hotel is to be demolished". Times of Malta. 20 August 2016. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Fire in Jerma Palace Hotel ruins – not for the first time". TVM. 20 August 2016. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d Debono, James (15 December 2017). "Plans for Jerma site to host apartment complex and 13-storey hotel". The Shift. Archived from the original on 18 December 2017. 
  9. ^ "Website Corpi d'elite claims Syrians entering Malta from near abandoned Jerma Palace Hotel". The Malta Independent. 20 December 2015. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Council: Jerma ruins are a danger and should be demolished". Times of Malta. 22 July 2016. Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Mistra Village and Jerma Palace owners get slapped with enforcement notices". Times of Malta. 20 August 2016. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. 
  12. ^ Xuereb, Matthew (22 August 2016). "Jerma Hotel site valued at €20.8m, to be sold at judicial sale by auction in October". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. 

Media related to Jerma Palace Hotel at Wikimedia Commons