ER Editor: We also recommend this piece in French from Egalité et Réconciliation, Après l’incendie de Notre-Dame, un tiers de l’Hôtel-Dieu cédé à un promoteur pour 80 ans et 144 millions.
Notre-Dame: the Largest Real Estate Transaction in Europe has Begun in Paris
The Ile de la Cité real estate renovation operation and its transformation into a tourist promenade began with the awarding of part of the Hôtel-Dieu to Novaxia, “philanthropist” Joachim Azan’s (pictured) “transitory urbanism” group.
This mega-operation was imagined in 2016, at the request of President François Hollande and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, by the director of historical monuments Philippe Bélaval and architect Dominique Perrault.
It plans to take advantage of the renovation of the Tribunal de Paris, the Prefecture of Police and Hôtel-Dieu, in order to draw all the tourist potential of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle.
The cathedral fire constituted a “divine surprise” for the public authorities, who will thus be able to carry out this project and commercially exploit the whole island. This, the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, summed up by declaring that Notre-Dame de Paris is “not a cathedral, it’s our common good”.
Rented for 144 million euros for 80 years, part of the Hotel-Dieu hospital will be transformed into housing, luxury shops and a gourmet restaurant. The hospital unions, observing the cuts to Parisian emergency services, are protesting against this choice.
The public tendering process had started before the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire.
Fast-tracked, an ad hoc law was voted in first reading by the National Assembly to manage the collection of donations for the restoration of the cathedral. It provides incidentally that the Government will be authorized, by government order, to make any and all derogations:
1 ° “To the rules concerning town planning, environment, construction and heritage preservation, in particular with regard to the compliance of planning documents, the issuance of works and construction authorizations, modalities of public participation in decision-making and environmental assessment, as well as preventive archeology;
2 ° Rules relating to public commissions, public lands, roads and transport. ”
The real estate project provides, for its part, the construction of a network of tunnels that will allow tourists to access the crypt of Notre Dame, but especially to relieve traffic on the island.
The ultimate goal is to transform the island from an administrative city into one of the busiest tourist areas in Europe.
On the same subject: “The Hidden Stakes of the Restoration of Notre-Dame”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 16 May 2019.