The new buildings in Monaco

Crédits photos Yann Vernerie. For a long time the new buildings in Monaco were towers that rose higher and higher. Sometimes these tall buildings bordered on the definition of skyscrapers. But over time, available land became increasingly scarce and more and more expensive. From that moment on, the only space available was to be conquered, on the sea.


Monaco, little by little built and spread over the water

The first major extension towards the Mediterranean Sea took place at Portier between 1958 and 1961. Then, a second extension was launched at Larvotto between 1961 and 1963. As part of these multiple extensions to the sea, the Sadim project appeared. . A Franco-Italian-Swiss group which proposed in 1962, at the request of Prince Reigner III, a project of around 30 hectares. This time a bay will be closed by a dike and then completely dried up. The backfilling will have been colossal. Since everything was backfilled with nearly 7.5 million cubic meters. Everything will ultimately be protected by a large dike. A work responsible for preserving the site from strong swells and winter storms. In place of the Mediterranean Sea, more than six hundred social housing units will be built, but also the port of Fontvieille and finally the Louis II stadium in 1985. More than six decades later it is indisputable to say that this pharaonic project was an immense success.

However, construction on the maritime domain in Monaco was not new. The first dates back to 1907. At the time Fontvieille was just a Monegasque beach. It will be filled in and will eventually become a port. Three years later, in 1910, some docks and a dike will reinforce the coastline and erase the old coastline to reveal some six additional hectares.


The new project on the new grounds of Monaco, the new Mareterra district

From 2022 a new project is being born. These are five new buildings, comprising 130 apartments and fourteen villas. A real estate complex which should be built on the new grounds of Monaco, at Anse du Porterier. To enhance everything and make the space livable, we also had to think about town planning. A green park, a new port but also 165 parking spaces should, according to the established expression, “see the light of day”. A huge real estate project which was budgeted at two billion euros (only). But this new extension will undoubtedly be the premise for other constructions and reinforcements. In nearly 120 years, 55 hectares have been reclaimed from the sea. After the industrial polders of Japan or the agricultural polders of Holland, Monaco is expanding its surface area. A major challenge for this city state which is the second smallest "country" in the world just behind the Vatican.

On the real estate side, the lowest habitable levels will be located seven meters above the water level. The car parks and other technical premises will be located two meters above sea level. On the environmental side, SAM (of which the Bouygues group is one of the shareholders) promises to respect the directives given by the Prince in terms of environmental protection. One of the directives being, among other things, not to affect the course of current currents in order not to suffocate underwater fauna.


Investing in the new district of Monaco

For those who would like to invest in the new Mareterra district, you will have to show your "white credentials" and come in person to meet the builder (SAM Anse du Portier). For the moment we don't know anything about the prices, however we know that most of the properties have already found a buyer. And quite surprisingly, half of these investors are first-time buyers (in Monaco). The vast majority of these future residents are Germans, Belgian, Swiss, Italian and even British citizens. Source: le Figaro real estate, In Monaco, this new ultra-luxurious district built on the sea takes shape on December 4, 2023.

On the price side, even if nothing has filtered through from the developer, these new properties will be offered at stratospheric prices. For information, the price of a square meter costs on average 50,000 euros. But when the property is ideally located, the price can then double or even triple in certain cases. It is obvious that a new product, facing the sea, in the new fashionable district of Monaco should be negotiated around 120,000 euros per square meter with perhaps even a premium linked to the unusual and ultra-luxurious character, all located in a hyper-secure environment.

Next to the real estate program we will find an extension of the Grimaldi forum of almost 9,000 square meters. The green park should extend over one hectare (or 10,000 square meters). Finally, everything will be enhanced by a small port with around thirty places. It will be possible to stroll among these new infrastructures thanks to a small "coastal" path which should follow the new coastline.


Extension towards the sea and real estate prospects

The future of real estate in Monaco will result either in the construction of large towers or in sea extension. In the early days it was relatively easy to fill in the bays. From now on, progress on the sea requires a lot of technical expertise and the mobilization of fairly substantial resources.

It is quite possible that a few more skyscrapers will be built in the decades to come. However, seismic standards and the virtual absence of land lead us to believe that the main thrusts of Monegasque territory are towards the sea. Moreover, when we analyze the real estate data we realize that the land reclaimed from the sea represent a significant part of the Monegasque territory.
Another avenue may nevertheless emerge. The military route which would consist of attacking a neighboring country is obviously completely excluded. Firstly because this is contrary to international law and secondly quite simply because Monaco does not have an army and its neighbor (in this case France) is one of the greatest military powers (at a minimum) for western part of Europe.

If territorial gains will never come through war, it is a safe bet that in the future the Principality will outsource some of its services or functions. Storage buildings and even certain administrations could well be relocated outside the territory to France and perhaps even Italy.


Traditional players in the construction sector in Monaco

Even if the figures for land extensions at sea turn the heads of observers and attract all the desires, we must not neglect the historical players in the sector. On the land side, there is the essential Pastor group. A builder who, with the Simona, Roccabella, Villa Mimosa and Quai Kennedy programs, has been able to offer an ever-demanding clientele well-designed buildings that always meet the expectations of the Monegasque real estate market. The Formentor, the Victor Palace, the Villas du Parc and the Splendido complete the list of great achievements of the Pastor Group.

The other player at Le Rocher is none other than the Marzocco group. After the construction of the Odéon tower, this Monegasque builder is launching a major project, the Testimonio II. In 2024, nearly 380 apartments will be delivered, but also a large school (the international school of Monaco) without forgetting a nursery. An important project which is intended to be decisive for the ambitions of Monaco. Moreover, alongside this major project, several dozen exceptional apartments will be delivered as well as five villas which have been marketed under the name Bay House.

In Monaco, on the land side, real estate has not yet said its last word.

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