For over a year there has been optimism about the future of the Fontvieille shopping Centre which is a hub of activity and social life in the Principality.
Locals and visitors have been using the shopping mall with its 35 stores for three decades. It’s the perfect complement to the retail experiences on offer in the districts of La Condamine, Larvotto, and Monte-Carlo.
A symbol of the Principality’s constant renewal, the shopping centre in this district is set for a major overhaul.
Just to imagine the scale of the project, preliminary numbers floated anticipated a project of over 300 million to 350 million euros.
The project’s scale was such to completely improve the face of Monaco and not just from a retailing point of view. Talked about was the creation of a two-hectare park with 2,000 trees planted.
Picture a new haven of greenery on the edge of the port of Fontvieille with a shopping centre offering a complete experience, including leisure facilities, a state of the art cinema, restaurants, shops, and a place to simply take a gentle Mediterranean stroll.
The vision included a hub of life overlooking the sea, where visitors can walk, catch a movie, go shopping, and have lunch.
The project’s initial description viewed a four-screen multiplex cinema, 40 new state housing units, 30,000m² of commercial space boasting 70 shops and 12 restaurants and vastly improved parking of 800 spaces.
It’s a Question of Budget
The principle of this being a major project had received much exploration and even degrees of consensus in discussions between the Conseil National and the Government. A project of this scale only gets final approval, of course, after close attention to detail and budget.
Will 300+ million euros deliver a top-shelf shopping centre in the region, competing against the likes of Cap 3000, Polygone and Nice Lingostière?
Last Autumn the new Minister of Finance and the Economy Marco Piccinini.
stated that reflection is underway at the highest level on bringing the project into line with the State’s possibilities, which are not infinite.
This created concern in the Conseil National in particular who had anticipated the project would proceed on the ambitious scale originally conceived.
The 300+ million euro number has since had more scrutiny.
The project planned for completion in 2027 has experienced a budgetary evaluation different from what was planned and has fallen somewhat behind schedule. In view of studies provided by the company responsible for its implementation, the Government is obliged to evaluate carefully a certain number of proposals.
Minister of State Pierre Dartout indicated that he wished to discuss the subject with the Conseil National during a Commission plénière d’études (EPC – plenary study committee) for the 2024 preliminary budget.
Pierre Dartout Clarifies and Provides an Update
Minister of State, Pierre Dartout, provided an update this month on the future Fontvieille Shopping Centre project in order to dispel misunderstandings on the future project, indeed resized and still modern and ambitious.
The Government had already indicated a necessary reevaluation on November 13th during a dedicated Plenary Study Commission for this project.
Evolving information sees evaluation of a budget that is now estimated at €577.4 million, ‘non-definitive and significantly higher than the estimates made during the consultation phase, which foresaw a budget of €348 million,’. Construction costs would likely take the budget estimate much higher than €577 million.
Expect More Definitive Clarification in spring 2024
Pierre Dartout has affirmed to the Conseil National:
“‘I confirm that there is no intention to compromise on initial objectives, such as building a state-of-the-art cinema. We agree: the new shopping center must remain an ambitious project, in order to have an attractive and modern structure that we can all be proud of, including current and future merchants who will conduct their business there… The Government intends to be able to present you with guidelines in the spring of next year and even include corresponding amounts in the perspective of a 2024 Supplementary Budget, which can be submitted to the National Council at that time,’
This declaration appeared relatively well received by the members of the Conseil National.
Expect a detailed progress report on the scale of the project and its budget in the spring.