The proposed demolition and reconstruction of the Fontvieille shopping centre appears to have hit a snag, with reports that the government is going to reassess the €300 million project and put forward some alternative plans.
The Fontvieille shopping centre, built in 1992, is undeniably due for a refresh, but the project may have hit a speedbump as the government reveals that it will examine the project again before entirely committing, specifically aiming to revise the budget.
The cost of the project was initially set at €300 million and would see the old structure torn down and replaced with a two hectare park, a four-screen multiplex cinema, 40 new state housing units, 30,000m² of commercial space and vastly improved parking.
NATIONAL COUNCIL REACTION
The National Council, Monaco’s elected body, received the news during Assembly on Monday night with a variety of emotions. According to Monaco Matin, councillors said they were “perplexed”, “shocked” and “stunned” at the news, which stemmed from questions posed to the new Minister of Finance and the Economy Marco Piccinini.
Piccinini’s reply was a curve ball to those who believed the project was a done deal.
“Reflection is underway at the highest level on bringing the project into line with the State’s possibilities, which are not infinite,” he reportedly said. “There will certainly be a [remodeling] of this project, not necessarily for the worse but for a formula more suited to the times. The commercial world has changed, it seems to me responsible to draw some conclusions from this.”
Members of the National Council apparently fear that a scaled-down version would put the Principality at a disadvantage against other top-shelf shopping centres in the region, such as Cap 3000, Polygone and Nice Lingostière.
“This shopping centre is lagging behind the evolution of society and commerce. It is no longer worthy of the image of Monaco,” said Councillor Nicolas Croesi.
The minister made it clear the project was far from being dropped, but was being re-evaluated because of financial concerns.
“There is no question of abandoning the project, nor of no longer being ambitious, because it must undoubtedly contribute to the attractiveness of the Principality and already meets the needs of the Monegasque population,” he said, whilst adding, “This project experienced a budgetary evaluation different from what was planned. It fell behind schedule and, in view of studies provided by the company responsible for its implementation, we are obliged to evaluate a certain number of proposals. This is why we are going to revise the project.”
He went on to add that the government, who is looking at creating a new plan with “optimisation, efficiency and budgetary prudence”, will present several options for the Council to review.
Main image: Studio Fuksas