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First-time visitors to the Monte Carlo Casino for next weekend’s Grand Prix may not find the view they’re expecting. In the place of sea vistas are screens shielding the coast; in the water, dredgers are strategically placed, like warships. “Monaco’s yachts don’t look as glamorous these days,” one visitor jokes.
The construction is the first step toward creating new, ritzy Riviera housing on land that is currently underwater. Since 2016, the principality’s government has been pouring thousands of tons of Sicilian sand into the shallow harbor at a cost of $2.4 billion.
Neighborhood - Anse - Du - Portier - Portier
By 2025, the 15-acre neighborhood, called Anse du Portier (or Portier Cove), will increase the principality’s size by 3 percent and feature 120 luxury apartments, 10 over-the-top villas, a seaside promenade extending to Monte-Carlo Beach, and a Portofino-inspired port dreamed up by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano—all on Monaco’s last remaining sliver of untouched shore. It’s part of a plan to rescue the tax haven from its housing shortage, which has helped the city-state claim the world’s most expensive residential real estate.
The development follows a similar land reclamation effort in the 1970s, when Prince Rainier III built the industrial Fontvieille neighborhood on nearly 10 acres that contained only Mediterranean water. Unlike such capitals as Paris or New York—which continue expanding, up or out—Monaco refuses to tear down old buildings to make space for a slew of taller, newer ones. It can expand in only one way: over the water.
Jean-Luc - Nguyen - Director - Government - Expansion
According to Jean-Luc Nguyen, director of the government’s offshore expansion project, the goal of Portier Cove is to “provide top luxury residences for people who want to settle in Monaco,” since most of the principality’s housing stock is aesthetically stuck in the 1970s. The deep-pocketed companies and residents who reap the rewards of the tax haven are also the primary benefactors for...
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