The Paceville Planning Authority has approved a 32-storey high-rise tower, doubling the height of plans approved six years ago, to house 48 hotel rooms, 275 serviced apartments and around 3,300 square metres of shops.

The developers will have to contribute €60,000 towards the Arts Council’s ‘high-rise’ fund.

The development centres around Mercury House, a late-19th-century building that once served as the main hub of Malta’s international cable connections, which will be converted into hotel lobby areas. A series of underground vaults, used to house communications equipment during the Cold War, will be restored and conserved.

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