Even with its extensions at sea, the Principality is often compared to a small paradise where luxury, elegance and comfort live side by side. This perception emphasizes the small size of the Monegasque Eden.
The narrowness of Monaco is historic. In 1861, after the secession of Menton and Roquebrune, the country is only 150 hectares. Successive rulers must therefore redouble their ingenuity in order to widen a vital space that has been almost obliterated. Although the first embankments began in 1865, with the creation of the railway, it was not until the end of the 1950s that most of the work on extensions at sea and territory planning was initiated. Under the reign of Rainier III, the “Prince Builder”, the Monegasque territory finally reaches 202 hectares, extending to the sea.
Back to two incredible projects that have given Monaco its current face and real estate potential.
After the Second World War, the Principality must find a source of income other than tourism and games. Rainier III understands this: Monaco must promote local economic development by focusing on the industrial sector. In the 1950s, the small country seized its chance by hosting some of the biggest names in perfume and the pharmaceutical industry. It is therefore imperative to be able to receive a growing workforce. And for that, it will have to gain surface.
The government selects a promising shoreline: Larvotto. Thus, between 1958 and 1961, a first terrain of 54 000 m², then an artificial beach, are successively realized in the area of the Portier. Funded by the state, a new district is created artificially on the Mediterranean.
In the same vein, the Prince validated various architectural plans in 1966. These will allow the construction of over 2,000 homes on the seafront. The urban development also provides for the creation of tunnels and the highway. At the same time, illustrious hotels such as Loew’s were created in the 1970s. The project also included the construction of a cultural and congress center, the Rainier III auditorium, and a green theater, the future Grimaldi Forum.
At the end of the 1960s, the enlargement of the Principality turned towards the west of the territory. Always confronted with its problem of space, the State has no choice but to continue its extensions at sea. Thus is born the ambitious project of Fontvieille.
The challenge is daunting because on this side of the coast, the seabed can reach 40 meters deep. Supported by SADIM, a Franco-Italian-Swiss group, work began in 1965. After dyking the sea, the bay was dried up. A little more than 220 000 m² of landings come out of the water, and a marina of 55 000 m² is also created. Finally, a dike of one kilometer long is designed to protect buildings from sea storms and storms. The work ends in 1971 and the Monegasque State acquires the entirety of the Fontvieille platform in 1973.
Social housing, industrial space, offices and shopping centers: the Fontvieille district has increased the country’s housing capacity while increasing its economic activity. Finally, the construction of the Stade Louis II in 1985, the development of nice hotels as well as the attractiveness of the port give this area, regularly highlighted by our real estate agency, a real tourist dimension.
Since the second half of the 20th century, Monaco has continued to expand on the maritime domain to meet real estate requirements. However, the space is counted and available square meter is always rare.
In view of this situation, Albert II, in the continuity of the paternal work, allows the launch of a new project: the creation of 6 new hectares of floors to build on the sea from the district of Portier. Through this operation, he wants to share his personal vision of the Monegasque territory, characterized by a strong ecological awareness. Thus, on July 25th, 2018, the Sovereign inaugurated the first concrete caisson attached to this new visionary project.
As an extension of the Anse du Portier project, Monaco has also planned an ambitious redevelopment project for the Larvotto beach. The project is signed Renzo Piano and offers a real renovation of the neighborhood. Overall, the walks will be restructured and the commercial surfaces will be enlarged.