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What’s Happening to the Fontvieille Shopping Centre project?

Several years ago, ambitious plans to reinvent the Fontvieille Shopping centre were first announced. The initial project included major commercial, urban and ecological plans. But plans change, and now the project has been described as more of a makeover than a major renovation. The world keeps changing and so does the way we do our shopping. Online shopping and budget concerns have altered the ambitious initial plans for the Fontvieille Shopping Centre.

During a budget session in December 2023, Pierre Dartout, the Minister of State announced the newest plans for the Fontvielle shopping centre. According to the altered construction plans, the improved shopping centre will house 36 stores instead of its current 18. (Less than half of the initially proposed 80 stores.)

Six years ago, plans were to create a complex with 30,000m2 of commercial space, two hectares of green space, a large multiplex cinema and 40 state-owned apartments with a budget of 300 million euros. Today, plans are more modest with a much smaller budget.

Fifty years ago, Fontvieille was nothing more than a small stretch of sand and rock, tumbling into the sea. Fontvieille was first constructed almost entirely on artificially reclaimed land, to combat the land shortage in a densely populated Principality. Work began back in 1966 to create the new land from the Mediterranean Sea. In 1981, Crown Prince Albert II laid the cornerstone for the new district. Today, Fontvieille is a place of vitality with a residential district, a marina, the Louis II stadium and a shopping centre in need of an update. 

The centre is in a great location, in the heart of the economic district, near the Port of Fontvieille, in the shadow of the Rock of Monaco and close to many cultural spaces. Because of its great location, National Council members are hoping that plans for the new shopping centre will still include more shops and restaurants, a green space and a state-of-the-art cinema.

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