Shoring Up, Building In, Cleaning Up, Tearing Down, Planting Up
I was expecting my Nice apartment to look much like the “jail” my Paris apartment has become.
If you read my recent missives, then you know that last Tuesday three workmen came to shore up the ceiling so that the two levels above me won’t come crashing down. They installed 19 poles, one of which wedges me to the right at my desk making it a bit uncomfortable. They actually did an amazing job to ensure that I could open all the cabinets and drawers and function in the space. Still, it feels like a bit of a jail.
My Nice apartment is undergoing a badly-needed “ravalement” (resurfacing of the building) and that provided a chance to augment our balconies. My upstairs neighbors are getting a triple balcony they didn’t have, my downstairs neighbors are getting their triple balcony reinforced, and my single balcony will become a triple, with two of my window-like doors opening onto it, while my next-door neighbors will get a single balcony that they didn’t have at all. They had to destroy my original balcony to accomplish this. And’s that where the compressor for the heat and AC sat, so that meant moving the compressor inside, rendering the apartment void of those creature comforts.
I imagined that the shutters would be closed and the apartment would be in total darkness and unlivable. I was prepared to find a hotel or apartment to rent if that were the case. Approaching the building, I could see the scaffolding and its white translucent covering from as far away as Place Masséna, looking awfully foreboding. That wasn’t a good sign. But when I entered the apartment, I discovered it was relatively bright as the shutters were open, allowing the light in, even if there was no view.
There were workers on the scaffolding. That gave me a chance to greet them. Then, I noticed that there was a puddle of chalky white power on the floor next to Henri-le-Cactus. Upon further inspection, it seems that the outside wall of the building had been pierced and a mixture of plaster and water had streamed down the walls of the living room and the bedroom damaging the brick walls, one framed poster, a window shade and the floor. Never a dull moment! It’s like going from the frying pan into the fire!
The volunteer “syndic” (property manager) who lives upstairs, came down to survey the situation and inform the construction company of the problem. I spent the weekend cleaning it up and getting things back in order. Such is my life at the moment.
One reason I came to Nice was to visit the ongoing project of Le Palais du Soleil, one of our newest Fractional Ownership properties. Our Interior Designer, Martine di Mattéo, had been in Nice all week working on it with her crew, some of which came from Nice to work their magic. It was the first thing on my agenda to see it in progress, as usage starts in January and therefore it MUST be finished. The work is amazingly on time and fully expected to be ready.
My jaw dropped when I walked in and saw it for the first time since all the walls had been taken down to make way for the new floor plan. It’s a complete construction site, but the framework of the puzzle is there and it’s shaping up magnificently! It’s coming together just as we envisioned it and undoubtedly will be just as beautiful as we planned.
The sad part for me is that this apartment is perfect for ME! I regret not having purchased it for myself. The white, bright, and colorful decor is right up my alley. The location is ideal in the heart of the Carré d’Or. The views of the sea and of the pedestrian streets below are breathtaking. The thirteen owners are surely going to be very pleased they made the decision to buy a share! And I’m already terribly jealous!
For those who missed out on Le Palais du Soleil, we have another Fractional Ownership property in Nice for sale with usage starting in January: Le Jardin de la Promenade. It’s a real jewel—a large studio directly on the seafront with a private garden. It’s beautifully decorated and missing nothing! The location is fabulous, surrounded by buses and the new East-West Tramway Line #2 that goes from the Old Port to the Airport and beyond.
The person who bought the first share was someone who had stayed in it as a rental for a month and loved it so much, she wanted to make it a permanent home. Tomorrow I’m meeting with the apartment’s designer, Laura Poirier, to review the few changes we’re making to it to make it even more perfect than it already is. It will be ready by January, too!
There are still a few shares left, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested! Visit the property’s page on our website for more information.
News from Nice gets even nicer these days. Patty Sadauskas’ apartment overlooks the Acropolis Palais des Congrès et des Expositions, knowing that it would eventually come down and make way for more parks. That news was announced formally this past October 13th that the demolition of the Acropolis will start this coming January as part of the project to extend the Promenade du Paillon and to build a convention and exhibition center at the Grand Arenas. The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, explained why the demolition of the Acropolis was vital for the population in view of the climatic risks of pollution, drought and threats of flooding.
All the experts—the climatologists that they have consulted, from the side of ATMOSUD, and from the High Council for the climate—as well as the researchers of the University have underlined that the Acropolis represented a concrete liner erected on the bed of a torrential river, a slab impermeable to rainfall. As it rains, it rushes into the adjacent streets and floods the basements of the buildings and parking lots. But also, an artificial mountain is created that blocks pollutants, fine particles, and nitrogen oxides from road traffic. And finally an energy sieve which releases 1,700 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere due to huge heat and air conditioning losses.
The city has chosen to create an urban forest, with eight hectares of green space, carbon sink, and surfaces capable of absorbing intense rains that will not flood the cellars, and will not take away our infrastructure and human lives. Removing this building, the TNN building, and the asphalt esplanade at De Lattre de Tassigny, means planting 1,500 trees of large Mediterranean species adapted to the climate: “Micocoulier de Provence,” Holm Oak, Mulberry, Maple, Ash, and Paulownia…all which strictly respect the “Tree Charter.” It also means capturing 50 tons of CO2 per year thanks to the growth of the trees, and absorbing one ton per year of atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen dioxides and sulfur. It is offering a large air circulation area that dilutes the pollutants and air conditions the buildings. It means the creation of vast shaded areas, with air temperature drops of 3°C in the summer, up to 10°C in temperature felt by the human body, and even 30 degrees of temperature difference on the ground with a mineral surface.
If Nice doesn’t do it, if they choose concrete over greenery, then the government will have to answer to the people of Nice. Estrosi says, “If we talk without acting, if we hesitate, if we back down, then we will have to assume our responsibility, and even our entire guilt in front of those who will have to deplore losses, material and human. I prefer that Nice be the leader of a new building model that protects the people of Nice, rather than the leader of an outdated economic model that puts us at great risk. This is the historical responsibility we are facing, and for which, once again, we will not shirk.”
For images of what the park is expected to look like, visit this website.
Wow! Patty may suffer a bit through the demolition process, but her future view is going to be even more spectacular than it is now!
I LOVE Christian Estrosi! Nice improves year after year. It’s clean, it’s pretty, it’s easy to live in (without a car) and it’s a total delight, becoming more pleasurable every time I come. (Madame Anne Hidalgo needs to take lessons from him on how to govern and improve a city. Paris isn’t!)
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
P.S. Normally we don’t publish French Property Insider on Thanksgiving, but this year we will in order to make up for a special day I took in January. Happy reading and Happy Thanksgiving!
Fortunately, you have the stuff, the strength, the pizazz to weather all the construction horrors afoot in your two apartments. It will all turn out. Happy thanksgiving, Adrian!