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Million Dollar Views and More

Volume XIX, Issue 25

View of the harbor from an apartment in Villefranche-ser-Mer
The million dollar view from La Belle Terrasse

If you read last week’s French Property Insider, then you know that the property we had slated for a Fractional Ownership property in Nice got axed for good reason: a noise problem we might not be able to solve or overcome. After spending many evenings at the café below the apartment with John Garland Jones singing his heart out, his sound system speakers aimed at the “terrasse,” I can confirm that we “dodged a bullet” by letting this one go.

Diners on the terrace of the Le Grande Café de France

John Garland Jones, singing at Le Grande Café de France

It was very disappointing to say the least. And the property will be very difficult to replace. Good properties in Nice are selling faster than the agents can list them. Our clients are buying them as fast as we can find them. But, with the great team that I have in Nice, we’ll be sure to find a good alternative…and it must be PERFECT…a real jewel, otherwise, we pass.

I was interviewed this week by a journalist from the Hollywood Reporter who wanted to learn more about the current market on the Côte d’Azur. Naturally, he was focused on Cannes. Cannes is the town the film industry knows best because of the annual film festival that takes place there.

I explained to him that Cannes (for me) is like Hollywood—not exactly real. Yes, it’s a real place, just like Hollywood is, but the glamour and glitz of it is about as real as a movie set. Hollywood sounds glamorous because of the celebrity stars who work there, in the big barns and phony stage sets in which the movies are filmed, when not filming on location. Seeing Hollywood for real can be a real disappointment if you’re not prepared for such uninteresting architecture and mostly the industry’s technicians floating around while the celebrities are hiding out. Cannes (as I said in the beginning, for me…) is much the same. It’s a convention town that comes alive when the celebrities are there, but otherwise, it’s just another spot on the Riviera and (in my opinion) while it’s beautiful, I don’t think it’s as stunning as the Baie des Anges in Nice or many of the other enclaves along the Côte d’Azur. I don’t recommend it as a place to hang your hat on a permanent basis, like I would Nice—too far from the Nice international airport to make a quick get-away to other parts of Europe or beyond! (One of the wonderful things about living in the hub of the Riviera.)

View of Cannes from above

Cannes from above

Tuesday Patty Sadauskas and I went east from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer to pay a visit to the property we are purchasing there that will be sold as a Fractional Ownership property named “La Belle Terrasse.” The name is for good reason, since its spacious terrace has what I call the “million dollar view” of the port at Villefranche and the peninsula of Cap Ferrat. It’s not over a café, thank goodness, but from the bedroom window it overlooks a sweet Place with a fountain from which you can hear the sound of the water trickling. There’s a large Bougainvillea in full bloom right now so the scene is particularly pretty.

View of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat


La Place at rues Poilu and Pasteur, Villefranche-sur-Mer

La Place at rues Poilu and Pasteur, Villefranche-sur-Mer

The apartment is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom on two levels: the entry, kitchen and terrace is on the main entry level; the living room/dining room, bedroom and bathroom are a few steps down (not a full flight). For those who know Villefranche-sur-Mer, it’s a town of many steps. Fortunately this apartment has very few steps to reach its door from a level street that easily accesses both the train station and the main parking lot by walking in either direction only about four minutes. The port, its cafés and restaurants, the beach, etc., is just a few steps down from the apartment and the famous rue Obscure starts at the Place. (The Rue Obscure is a 130-meter long covered street dating from 1260, located along the first rampart of Villefranche. It was registered as a Historic Monument on October 4, 1932.)

Signs as you Entering rue Obscure, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Entering rue Obscure, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Looking down rue Obscure, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Looking down rue Obscure

On route to visit the property we stopped at a stone/marble/tile wholesaler where we found beautiful tiles we may use for the flooring, bathroom and kitchen. It’s getting a complete facelift from top to bottom to make it as luxurious as possible, and as I like to boast, “it will be missing nothing.” The 13 lucky owners of the shares (four weeks of usage each year) are sure to love the apartment and its very special location.

Photo of Tentative tile ideas

Tentative tile ideas

This coming Saturday, we’ll be talking at great length about all of it during our webinar “Is Fractional Ownership Right for You?

A free and informative one-hour webinar!
Saturday, June 26, 2021
9:00 a.m. Pacific/12:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. France

This is your opportunity to learn everything you need to know about owning just a fraction of a property in France…a property you can enjoy several weeks a year, that you can treat like your own home, that can be bequeathed to your heirs or resold at a profit! Join me during this one-hour Zoom webinar as I present the pros and cons of Fractional Ownership, talk about some of the properties on the market in France, and answers your questions.

Register in advance for this exciting meeting by clicking here.

And if you’re as hot on South of France as we are, or are interested in learning why we are, don’t hesitate to contact us!

A bientôt

Photo of Adrian Leeds in Cannes FranceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. There will be no French Property Insider on July 22nd as this is just one of the two weeks a year we don’t publish (to allow me to take a real vacation!).



  1. Kathy Masters on June 24, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Those of us who own property in Cannes always chuckle when we read Adrian’s outdated “tourist views” of Cannes. Only one block in from the Croisette is a charming small town where people couldn’t be friendlier and you constantly run into someone you know. Everyone we work with, from our real estate agent to the staff at our property management companies, has become a friend. We love to visit the big city of Nice and the adorable little town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, but we would never swap them for perfectly sized Cannes.

    • Adrian Leeds Group on June 27, 2021 at 3:35 am

      Thank you for sharing your comments.

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