A beachfront promenade and main street, a hotel, offices and a botanical garden are among the amenities the Eastside project would provide, according to plans submitted by the developers, the TNG Global Foundation.
As part of our series of reports examining in detail what would be one of the most significant developments in Gibraltar for decades, we take a look at what is on offer to the public, other than the promised high-end residential accommodation.
The scale of the proposed Eastside project is more than that of a residential development. With houses, shops, restaurants, offices and a hotel, totaling 260,000 square metres, it is akin to a mini urban hub, although it would represent a huge and permanent change to Gibraltar’s coastline, rather than a its city center.
The first part of the development that would welcome people coming from Sir Herbert Miles Road would be what the developers describe as a “contemporary botanical garden in the tradition of the Alameda Gardens of Gibraltar”. This would harvest rainwater and feature mostly low-water Mediterranean plants and trees; it would include play areas for children and possibly an interpretation center dealing with the prehistoric heritage of Gibraltar. The developers are also flagging this site as a potential location for an elementary school.
Beyond this, the largely pedestrianized development would be organized on a checkerboard plan, with streets leading from the residential areas to a “main street” which would provide a “focused commercial area dedicated to retail”, with a plaza at each end, and an exhibition center. Plans call for this to be accompanied by a promenade on two levels: one at street level, and one below, closer to the water, which would also feature waterside restaurants. Although the project will provide small-scale shops throughout the site, a “modest shopping center” and food court are also envisaged.
The southern end of the project joins Catalan Bay: and there a series of “saltwater rock pools” are designed to cascade down from the upper plaza to the shore, with an accompanying beach club. The south is also where the hotel would be located: spread over six levels, it would have a minimum of 200 rooms, as well as a private yacht club, restaurants and other facilities. A sailing school is also planned for the south. In total, hospitality and commercial use would represent 60,000 square meters.
The plans call for the creation of 20,000 square meters of office space. Mid-size office space would be available near the main street, while “premium office space” would be offered along with a business and conference center in the north arm of the marina. Also on the northern arm, there are plans to create a museum celebrating Gibraltar’s maritime history.
And there’s the marina itself, which promises to offer between 550 and 600 berths for everything from fishing boats to superyachts, and would also involve the massive infrastructure works, including the outer breakwater, which under -would strain the whole development. We’ll bring you more details on that, as part of the rest of our reporting series on what, exactly, is on offer at the DPC – and in Gibraltar.