A panoramic view of rue des Vertus, Le Marais
Life in the 3rd…Le Marais
Friday, December 26, 2003
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
On Christmas Eve, I signed the “Acte de Vente” on behalf of a client who found her dream “pied-à-terre” in a 16th century building on the corner of rue des Vertus and rue Gravilliers in the 3rd arrondissement, Le Marais.
Incorporating a large section of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, the Marais is one of the most fascinating and beautiful parts of Paris. Within its confines are literally scores of old mansions, which were partly ‘saved’ by André Malraux (then de Gaulle’s minister of culture), who in 1962, pointed out the historic value of numerous, crumbling monuments.
Restoration followed and along with it came chic boutiques, fine restaurants, art galleries, a young hip crowd…and higher real estate prices. Full of numerous churches and synagogues, many of these restored mansions, or “hôtels particuliers” of the 17th-century now function as museums or libraries. The village-like Marais is home to the city’s long-established Jewish community, has embraced the Chinese wholesale industry and has become the center of Paris’ gay life.
Long before today, however, the Marais was of a watery, uninhabitable landscape. It has a profound history beginning in the late 13th-century when the monks and the military-religious order of the Knights Templars began settling in the area. One of the oldest houses in Paris of Gothic half-timber construction, dating to the beginning of the 14th-century at 3 rue Volta, is just a few meters from rue des Vertus. (There is a debate as to which is older, this one or the Nicolas Flamel house at 51 rue Montmorency.)
A close look at the history of can be found in Paris Confidential, and one can spend a lifetime getting to know this part of the city in great depth. But more than that, we write about Le Marais very often, because it’s one of Paris’ most wonderful neighborhoods to live in, stay in as a tourist and to invest in.
Three percent of the population reside in the Marais, with a total of 64,600 inhabitants and 81,000 who work there. The last few years has seen tremendous increase in prices in property — an increase of 14% in the 4th and 16.7% in the 3rd from second quarter 2002 to second quarter 2003. The 4th, developed faster than its counterpart further north. Already well-gentrified and brimming with commercial enterprise, prices are already high with slightly less room for the growth. The 3rd, however, is still on the up and coming — so from an investment standpoint, it’s more interesting.
From a residential standpoint, the 3rd, still a center for wholesalers and manufacturers, and now art galleries, is quieter nights and weekends and is comprised of an eclectic, but less transient, more closely-knit community. We who live in the 3rd (myself included), often say it would take a crowbar to get is out of here.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. Scroll down to see three beautiful apartments in the 3rd arrondissement to dream about…are put a deposit on!
STUDIO NEAR SQUARE DU TEMPLE
Beautiful 33m2 studio in 1700 building, 3rd floor, on the street and courtyard. Independent kitchen with corner dining. Recently renovated.
Asking Price: 150,000 Euro + 2% Finder’s Fee
Serious inquiries, email: 26-12-03_Square_du_Temple
ONE BEDROOM WITH MEZZANINE
Beautiful 42.5m2 two-room apartment in 1800 building with a 2.8m mezzanine, on a semi-private courtyard, in good condition, with parquet floors and exposed stone.
Asking Price: 215,000 Euro + 2% Finder’s Fee
Serious inquiries, email: 26-12-03_Mezzanine
TWO-BEDROOM ON RUE CHARLOT
Beautiful 74.19m2 three-room duplex with equipped American kitchen, individual gas in perfect condition with lots of charm, calm.
Asking Price: 375,000, Euro + Finder’s Fee
Serious inquiries, email: 26-12-03_Rue_Charlot
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* Further resources:
* Many people don’t have the time nor the resources to look for their own little piece of France, especially if they’re located in the States or other foreign country. Here’s how to start off on the right foot.
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