Monaco court turns down Pastor bid to halt Esplanade des Pêcheurs project

esplanade des pecheurs

A judge has dismissed a motion brought by Patrice Pastor’s SCI Esperanza that sought to overturn the decommissioning of the controversial Esplanade des Pêcheurs plot.  

The Esplanade des Pêcheurs saga is nearly 10 years in the making without even a single brick having been laid. Now the path has been cleared for construction to begin, following the dismissal of a case brought by SCI Esperanza, which is run and managed by developer Patrice Pastor, that hoped to negate a decision and law passed last year by the National Council.

The law in question allows the State to benefit financially from private developments as well as securing more much-needed housing for Monegasque citizens.

Pastor and SCI Esperanza had taken umbrage with several elements of the Esplanade des Pêcheurs project and the recent law, namely the “lack of competition” and tender process in handing the plot over to the Caroli Group, and that the development is not in the public interest. All points were dismissed by the sitting judge, Didier Linotte, reports Monaco Matin.

Where do the issues with the Esplanade des Pêcheurs project originate?

There was very little mention of the Caroli Group during the hearing – this case was a direct disagreement between the State and SCI Esperanza – and it appears that any previous ructions between the Caroli Group and the Monegasque government have been put to bed.

In 2014, the State and the Société Monégasque d’Etudes et des Gestion Immobilières, now known as the Caroli Group, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding a large-scale project on the Esplanade des Pêcheurs and the government was set to submit a bill to the National Council to decommission the land. This never materalised and, less than a year later, the State withdrew all plans.

The Caroli Group was outraged and sought financial retribution to the tune of €423 million. In 2020, Monaco’s court ultimately ruled that the State should pay the developer €137 million plus interest since the filing of the claim in 2018.

Prince Albert II was forced to step in and called on his government to find a more amicable solution. This took the form of a modified project, which included premises for the State and a smaller private building than the one proposed.

As it stands today, there has been no construction work on the Esplanade des Pêcheurs.

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Photo source: Caroli Group