A chateau priced at €118,000 and a holiday village priced at €100,000 are being sold off by the Paris mairie as it attempts to dispose of what it has controversially termed its “useless assets”.
The Château de Nescus in Ariège and the holiday village in Puy-de-Dôme are being sold off at a low cost after having been part of the mairie’s portfolio since the early 1970s.
The 1,400m2 chateau dates to the 18th century and also includes 3.5 hectares of woodland. It has been bought by a private buyer, who is planning to run the site as a gîte.
It had previously been squatted, and was placed on sale at auction in 2021 starting at €90,000, and the winning bidder apparently agreed to buy it for €205,000. However, this sale was not finalised.
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The La Roudette holiday village in Aydat includes 48 chalets and public buildings across more than 4,000m2. It also has a covered swimming pool, a tennis court, a sports field, and a wood. It has also been sold to a private individual who wants to use the site to host events, sporting activities, and eco-tourism stays.
It may also help to accommodate people experiencing housing insecurity.
The price of the village was especially low “in view of the cost of asbestos removal work to be carried out by the buyer”, said the town planning department. The cost of removal is estimated at €300,000.
‘Useless to the public service’
The properties have been sold after the mairie judged them to be “useless to the Parisian public service”. They had previously been set up as holiday centres, and were donated in 2007 to an association that offered holidays for the families of employees of the mairie and Paris Hospitals.
However, the mairie later decided that they had become “useless” to its activities and that the sites had both suffered from “significant deterioration” over the past 15 years, hence their very low sale prices.
“The City of Paris’ assets must serve the general interest of Parisians and local residents, and we aim to limit expenses that are not useful,” said Thomas Chevandier, of the Paris en Commun group.
He added: “Since 2007, attempts to put the assets up for sale, notably through specialised real estate agencies, have been unsuccessful. These properties bring in less than they cost us.”
He said that the chateau costs about €15,000 per year to run, and La Roudette costs €45,000.
‘Sale of the family jewels’
The sales have attracted some criticism.
David Alphand, member of the Changer Paris group and opposition city councillor, accused the Mairie of a “bad deal” in having sold a chateau "for the price of a car park in Paris". He said: "The city's heritage is being flogged off simply because no one has ever taken an interest in these properties.”
He said that the mairie’s “budgetary ineptitude” had led to this “sale of the family jewels”.
Similarly, Camille Naget, of the Groupe Communistes de Paris, said: “It is regrettable that the possibility of conserving this heritage was not studied seriously.
“However, interesting and locally useful projects will be set up,” she added.
In the city’s defence, first deputy Emmanuel Grégoire said: “It’s not only about the money to us. We have made a choice to sell these properties at a lower price as they are in the local public interest.”
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