By purchasing the construction deal for the Ligurian city’s incomplete infrastructure, the Society of operation for the ports of Monaco intends to decongest its two ports.
The deal is frank and will conclude, once and for all, decades of uncertainty around the site of the marina of Vintimille. Yesterday afternoon, the mayor of Ventimiglia, Enrico Loculano and Aleco Keusseoglou, president of the Monaco Ports Operations Corporation (SEPM), formalized the Monegasque takeover of this infrastructure, by the fort of Annonciade. On the 6th of December, the Cozzi Parodi Group had signed an agreement for the sale of 100% of the shares of Cala del Forte – former owner of the deal for the Marina of Vintimille – to the Monegasque international port company (SMIP).
“It is strategic because it will help relieve congestion at the ports of Fontvieille and Hercule”. Said Aleco Keusseoglou, at a press conference in Ventimiglia. During winter, there are long waiting lists and in the summer we have to refuse 30 to 40 boats every day.”
With 171 berths planned, a large port capacity, this concern for supply and demand is likely to be substantially reduced.
The revival of this unfinished port should begin in mid-January. “It will take 24 to 30 months of work,” he said. “But this major project will not be limited to the water, seabed, wharf reinforcements and the shipyard. The deal also encompasses the exterior of the marina. The construction of parking spaces, gardens, walkways, commercial premises, and also the infrastructure which will connect the port to the old village of Ventimiglia,” lists deputy chairman of the SEPM.
Enrico Loculano, mayor of Ventimiglia, is aware that this port, now in Monaco’s hands, will be “two years of intensive work, a lot of energy and fatigue”. The prospect of tourist and economic development for the Ligurian city is important. “It’s important for Monaco’s image,” he says. This will allow boaters to discover the city and all its aspects. If nothing is permanently entrenched, the port of Ventimiglia could be equipped with a heliport, which would facilitate return trips between the new Monegasque port and the Principality…
“More to offer, more dynamism”
One might think that the purchase of the port of Ventimiglia by the Principality would shade the two ports of Menton, which are 1,366 mooring rings strong.
Not really, according to the remarks of the deputy mayor Jean-Claude Guibal: “The offer is a good thing, in regards to demand in this popular nautical basin which stretches from San Remo to Monaco. We do not see this as a competition, on the contrary. This will create momentum and increase the presence of boaters. We do not play in Malthusianism. What is essential is to increase the offer whether it is French or Italian-Monaco. This inevitably creates economic growth. A boat on a port comes with a crew, an owner or tenants who will go to visit the town. It is up to us now to have an attractive policy for recreational vessels.” Note that on the 1st of January 2017, the City of Menton will own the port of Garavan. As for the Old Port, the transfer of ownership from the state to the municipality has been requested.
Last-Minute Development in the Story
The elected members of the National Council were unanimous last night during a public session in denouncing the “methods” used by the government which resulted in the purchase of the port of Ventimiglia.
86 million Euros, the total cost of this major project.
171: the number of boats (from 6 to 60 meters) that will be able to dock at the port of Ventimiglia.
3,800 meters squared available for commercial use.
400: the number of parking spaces near the port.
The end is in sight: the Monegasque repurchase may conclude many disillusions. The project of a harbor at the foot of fort L’Annonciade has been in the cards for an eternity. In the sixties, a dike had been constructed, but the inhabitants of Ventimiglia never saw a boat dock. By the 2000s, an ambitious project had been revived: an ultra modern marina with 740 berths. A trans-Alpine association was ready to finance the project to the tune of 140 billion lire, or 70 million Euros. The plans seemed promising: a lagoon with a rounded embankment dike, luxury hotels and commercial premises would be integrated into a modern marina. In 2008, the first picks were heard on the construction site of the port of Ventimiglia. The work didn’t last long because five years later, the company Caladel Forte, who was carrying out the project, went under during the economic crisis. Construction halted. In 2010, the former mayor of Ventimiglia resigned, suspected of being at the heart of a politico-mafia system. An inquiry refers in particular to suspicious