Italian low-cost supermarket giant Eurospin is behind plans to develop a supermarket on the 6,544m² site of the Bezzina & Sons shipyard, along the Aldo Moro road in Marsa.
The company has already presented plans to demolish the existing industrial complex and build a supermarket, with a commercial area of 1,300 m² above a parking lot on the ground floor.
A 2019 corporate brochure set a target of 12 stores in Malta, pitting Eurospin as a direct competitor to Lidl in a crowded field of supermarket groups.
With more than 1,000 supermarkets in Italy and 62 in Slovenia, Malta will be Eurospin’s second foreign market. In 2016, the brand represented 33% of the discount market in Italy.
Only 55% of the site, already zoned offices and showrooms in the local plans, will be allocated to development.
The site is currently used for heavy equipment storage, a mechanical workshop and a repair facility and is surrounded by high walls.
A Project Development Statement (PDS) submitted to the Environment Resources Authority in 2020 does not rule out further development at the site, saying the project “leaves potential for further commercial uses in the future”. Part of the site is assigned to a separate future application.
The developers are reducing the density by keeping 45% of the site undeveloped and limiting the height to 11m instead of the 22-29m allowed by the local plan. They promised “wide open spaces and aesthetic materials and design” that will benefit the area, which is currently “enclosed by high walls and structures”.
As proposed, the gate on Triq il-Labour will only be used for scheduled cargo delivery and waste haul operations. The main customer entrance will be via an outgoing service road on Aldo Moro Road.
The Transport Authority has requested a traffic impact assessment.
Almost half of respondents to a MaltaToday survey of supermarkets in 2016 chose discount giant Lidl as their first store of choice.