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Development in Monaco
May 19, 2016 by Joe Saward
There is a story kicking around suggesting that the Monaco Grand Prix is under threat because of a possible real estate development that is at the bottom end of the current F1 paddock, where the TV compound and very large yachts, filled with Russians are usually to be found. The remarks were made by Michel Boeri (77), the head of the Automobile Club de Monaco. It sounds rather a dramatic thing to say given that the TV compound can be relocated without too much difficulty, although it might not be as close to the paddock as is now the case. They are, in any case, endlessly inventive in Monaco when it comes to space and use several floors of the Parking des Pecheurs as the GP2 paddock, so it is not hard to imagine that the TV compound could be made to fit into that (for example). It is very clear that Monaco does not wish to lose the Grand Prix and F1 has a similar mindset so one must presume that there are other reasons why Boeri is scaremongering, perhaps because the new development will rather dominate the harbour area. The project includes two museums, which will funded entirely by the Caroli Group, a Monaco real estate development company. These will be a museum of the Grimaldi Family and a museum that will be in honour of Man and the Sea. There is a tiny Musée Naval already hidden away in Fontveille, but this is not of international standing. The development around these two buildings (and the reason they are being proposed) will include 52 luxury apartments, 250 parking spaces, plus an esplanade, in addition to 6000 sq m of offices and retail space, which the state will own. The company has also agreed to manage the museums for 15 years. The Museum of Man and the Sea will provide exhibition space. It will, if it happens, give the harbour a much more modern look, which some may consider to be a bad thing, but so much has been developed that the real Monaco disappeared a long time ago. The $330 million project will take four and a half years to complete.
While on that subject, the plans to expand Monaco into the sea, on the other side of Monte Carlo are continuing. Here is a video (in French) about what they are planning told to do. It is not clear yet whether this will lead to any changes in the F1 circuit, but it provide the opportunity to lengthen the track and provide overtaking.