The Gardens of Apolline made history in the Principality in 2017 as a residential sanitation disaster without precedent. The “supertanker” has since turned and it may now be the proof of the adage “every cloud has a silver lining”.
In fact, the good news is that the first residents in Block D can return to their remodeled apartments on September 17th – three months ahead of plan. So high profile was the disaster that Prince Albert himself was involved at an early stage and made it clear that a comprehensive solution was required and that he would keep the reports on progress close at hand.
And that is as good as a “command” and the spirit has been followed to the letter with a total overhaul of the building. All of this meant a massive military-style operation requiring temporary rehousing of residents and a huge renovation plan.
Albert Croisi, is inter-ministerial advisor to the Minister of State in charge of the living environment and relations with users. He is the point man overseeing every decision that effects the strategic progress of the renovation and above all the welfare of the displaced residents.
The renovated apartments are new, everything has been redone: doors, windows , floors, kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing , water, electricity and air conditioning – absolute everything and all requests for modification made by residents were reportedly accepted too. Only the load-bearing walls and slab foundations from the original building remain.
It is unusual that a large project of this complexity would be completed on schedule. Even more unusual is that residents are able to return months ahead of the planned dates. What is the magic formula? Reportedly the pace has been able to be accelerated by cutting through the bureaucracy that is part and parcel of any public works system and delegating the project management to the private sector. And, of course, a workforce of up to 650 people dedicated to getting the job done with no constraints and constant monitoring speaks to the seriousness with which the project was undertaken.
The proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating. Surprisingly early, all residents of Block D have been contacted with dates to move back in with their furniture which has been in special storage. It’s an exciting and important operation to welcome all the residents back to their 140 homes. Expect it take until the end of January, following the New Year. What a New Year’s present! Then onto a similar attack plan to reintroduce Block B residents to their home – likely by the end of March. Happy Easter 2020!
And given the track record there is good reason to believe the project success should continue: Block A might even be delivered in time by the end of 2020, and Block C might be delivered ahead of schedule in mid-2020.
Given that it was an emergency, the government provided all residents who wanted a temporary apartment, which allowed them to have a home during the work. It is rumoured that some residents are so happy with their temporary homes that they have asked to stay there.
Rules are rules and that is not on the cards with the exception for those of very advanced age. Asking people over age 80, to move twice in such a short time is not Monaco’s style. So reportedly kindness reigns and they get to stay put where they are – comfortable and happy!