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Get Your Share of La Lanterne du Marais…Coming Soon

Volume XIX, Issue 9

Photo of the building that the fractional property La Lanterne due Maris is in

Tuesday afternoon I signed the “Promesse de Vente” (pre-sale agreement) to purchase a property from one of our clients which had once been a successful rental property for many years. The only reason the rentals didn’t continue was because they couldn’t…legally.

When Anne Hidalgo took office as Mayor of Paris, she and the city housing department decided that short-term rentals in the City of Light were the cause of their acute housing shortage and set out to put as many of these properties back on the long-term market as they could. The housing shortage has many causes, certainly not just the boom of Airbnb-style vacation rentals, but they set their sights on these second homes, some of which are owned by non-residents such as our clients. By law, secondary properties in Paris cannot be rented for less than one year, with the exception of what is called a “mobility lease”—a lease of one to 10 months to someone in Paris on business or education.

This leaves out anyone who needs housing who isn’t specifically in Paris for business or education for any term less than one year, unless they wish to rent an apartment that is a primary residence. But even then, those can only be legally available for up to 120 days…so there’s a whole host of visitors to Paris who are left out of the equation entirely and in effect, aren’t entitled to housing. If you have read our Nouvellettres® in the past, then you know that I have fought these unfair regulations and the underhanded methods to which the city has stooped in order to ferret out the “criminal” property owners, who are guilty of exchanging money for someone staying in their property in the interest of covering their costs.

Consequently, rather than housing visitors to the City of Light, these properties remained vacant. I’m sure this is not what the city officials wanted, but that’s what they got. Many of the owners could afford to do that, but others felt the pinch of having to cover their cost of ownership and were forced to find other solutions. Selling the property is of course the number one answer, but it’s not what they wanted…they wanted to be able to hold on to their “pied-à-terre” for their own usage if nothing else…at least.

This particular property was put on the market with tremendous sadness by the owners and put it off for as long as they could bear. I’ll never forget when they hired us to find an apartment in Paris about ten years ago and I first saw this one. I fell in love with it immediately and so did they. It’s almost 42 square meters, a large one bedroom, but because of its “U” shape around the central stairwell, it has three real rooms and feels much larger than its “Loi Carrez,” or legal surface space.

Once upon a time, in centuries past, the apartment was made up of five different small lots, now fully incorporated into one space. We have reason to believe that the one-time four small rooms and a hallway leading to each of them was a kind of “love hotel” as it was rumored to me that the rue du Roi-de-Sicile was at one time a red-light district in the City of Light. This building at one time housed “Le Cabaret du Gros-Pavé,” photographed in 1910, by Eugène Atget, which gives credence to my assumption about the use of the small rooms on the first floor above the cabaret!

Oldtime photo of the Cabaret Le Cabaret du Gros-Pavé

Photo of 8 rue du Roi de Sicile by Eugène Atget, Once the Cabaret du Gros Pavé

The street has an impressive history. Its name refers to the townhouse of Charles I, Count of Anjou and Count of Provence, the brother of St. Louis and designated King of Naples and Sicily in 1266. He had a townhouse (“hôtel particulier”) built there at numbers 2-4 and at 14-22 rue Pavée, leaning against the wall of Philip-Augustus. This home was sold and rebuilt many times over the following centuries and became the Hôtel de la Force, which served as a prison.

Old drawing of the Hôtel de la Force, prison

In the 17th century, the street was part of an east-west road parallel to the Seine, branching off from rue Saint-Antoine. Philippe-Auguste’s enclosure, built around 1200, cut off its direct outlet onto rue Saint-Antoine, which led to the creation of the rue des Ballets, now known as rue Malher. The street is known to have been inhabited as early as 1261, but its name at that time is unknown. Under the name “rue au Roy-de-Sezille,” it is mentioned in Le Dit des Rues de Paris, a publication written between 1280 and 1300 by Guillot de Paris. It is cited under the name of “rue du Roy de Sicile” in a manuscript of 1636 kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Le Dit des Rues de Paris, a publication written between 1280 and 1300 by Guillot de Paris

In the seventeenth century, the Académie Française held its first meetings at the home of Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, at the Hôtel Pellevé on rue du Roi-de-Sicile, at the corner of rue Tison. It is there that the statutes of the Academy were written, as well as the first steps for its foundation. In the eighteenth-century the street, like others in the district, was not very well known, often cited in the minutes of criminal cases. It was renamed “rue des Droits-de-l’Homme” during the revolutionary period, between 1792 and 1806, after the revolutionary section that officiated there. In the nineteenth century, the street was famous for the numerous cap makers.

The building is at the corner of rue Pavée, which has its own illustrious history. In the 14th-century, royal townhomes began to be established here and it was the first paved (cobblestone) street in Paris. With all this history in its exposed oak beams, it’s oozing with charm in spite of it’s updated interior. The location makes it steps from the Métro Saint-Paul, rue Saint-Antoine and everything Le Marais has to offer. From the windows you have a view on the Carousel and down rues Roi de Sicile and Pavée, reminding you constantly of the age of the building and all that surrounds it.

Photo of the building at 8 rue Roi-de-Sicile in Paris

Photo of the Carousel Saint-Paul in Paris France

The reason I am purchasing this “jewel” of a property is to create a Fractional Ownership property that will welcome 13 owners to share in its pleasure, each with four weeks a year of usage. This kind of ownership outsmarts the city officials’ anti-short-term rental policies because these are owners, not renters, who will inhabit the property for two or four weeks at a time. Plus, it provides an investment that will grow with time and that which can be resold or bequeathed. We call it “La Lanterne du Marais.”

French Trompe l'Oeil artist Pascal Amblard

Pascal Amblard at work

Yesterday, I met with our illustrious interior designer, Martine di Mattéo, to review her ideas for its renovation and decor ideas. We’ve decided to enlarge the bathroom to be even more luxurious than it already is, to move the corner kitchen to the entry room so that it will be a fully equipped and very workable kitchen with all the bells and whistles; to add various custom cabinetry and special furnishings enhanced by two original murals by French Trompe l’Oeil artist Pascal Amblard. We worked out color schemes, chose fabrics and finishes, furnishings and lighting fixtures.

Martine and I are very much on the same page on decor. I trust her explicitly because she always brilliantly executes the concept of “creating one story.” She is a master at marrying color, design and form in a way that makes you feel right at home the moment you enter, even if it’s not obvious why it’s so welcoming. My goal is to ensure the apartment is simply fun, filled with happiness, the love of life and good karma. You can expect the apartment will be beautiful, luxurious, warm and comfortable, fully functional and a delight and pleasure to be in every day of the year, even all summer long with central heat and air conditioning. It will be missing nothing.

The shares will go on sale fairly soon—as soon as Martine and I can have a virtual tour produced so that you can see for yourself what it will be like when fully realized. You’ll find the price of the shares to be very reasonable —a lot less than others on the market, simply because we don’t have to overcharge to make ends meet. My personal goal is to provide you with the best possible Fractional Ownership property on the Paris market—something you can love owning and using, that you will have for many years and then later easily resell or be proud to leave to your kids.

This is one you can count on. It is a large one-bedroom with a sleeper sofa, one bathroom and two toilets, a fully-equipped kitchen, lots of windows for lots of light, just one floor up on a quiet street, and in the heart of Le Marais…a very historic part of the district surrounded by great transportation. It just doesn’t get better than this.

If you want to be on our special mailing list to learn more about La Lanterne du Marais the moment we have the shares to offer, send an email NOW! Shares will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis, so we’ll keep your responses on a numbered list and you will be the first to know about the offering…even before we announce it in a Nouvellettre®!

A bientôt,

Photo of Adrian Leeds in Pars FranceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group

Adrian Leeds on House Hunters Internation episode Searching for Styale and Space in ParisP.S. This apartment was also featured in a House Hunters International episode, but it will look very, very different than it did then. Be the first to know more about it. Do it now: send an email to let us know you’re interested.



  1. Jim Descher on March 4, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Hello Adrian,
    I was wondering what you mean by one bathroom and two toilets? I have this vision and I’d like you to get rid of that. LOL Also, how can you be sure that this ownership scheme will not be a target of politicians?

    I for one am very sorry to hear of the campaign against short term rentals. We have not stayed in a hotel on our trips for a long time and I’d prefer to never do it again. So much nicer to have a VRBO or similar. We stayed in Paris a couple of years ago about a block from the Louvre and all that the area has to offer. It was wonderful to go for walks to the Louvre, Orsay, the Opera.

    Thank you,


    • Adrian Leeds Group on March 7, 2021 at 10:42 am

      Hello Jim, The apartment has one full bathroom with a toilet, plus a second half-bath. In France it’s common to describe this as one bathroom and two toilets. Thank you for sharing your comments.

  2. Mark Welborn on March 7, 2021 at 3:05 pm


    How will the 13 blocks of ownership time be distributed? The concept sounds very exciting. Looking forward to your virtual tour!



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