Marseille's Roucas-Blanc offers a rural feel

Marseille's Roucas-Blanc offers a rural feel

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The Roucas-Blanc market, Marseille's most prestigious coastline, has benefited from a $ 7 billion ($ 7.9 billion) restoration project that secured the French city almost six years ago the status of a cultural capital. It has brought new buyers from Paris looking for a place by the sea for the weekend.

New infrastructure projects, together with the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, designed by tourist magnet Rudy Ricciotti, have helped change the rough and rough image of Provençal, while good transport links by plane and TVG rail service make traveling two cities easy.

Property prices have risen in most areas of the Roucas-Blanc market, said François-Xavier de Vial, director of luxury property specialists at Home Hunts. Homes with new and modernized sea views can cost up to € 10,000 per square meter, which he says will mean a 6-10% increase in the last two or three years.

Yet Marseille is relatively affordable compared to Paris. The French capital's main prices range from € 12,000 to € 20,000 per square meter, with ultra-low prices starting at € 20,000 per square meter, the focus of Savills 2019 on Paris' main residential markets.

Located on the rocky, jagged coastline of Provence, with its sun-kissed, forest-covered cliffs, Roucas-Blanc has panoramic sea, mountain and city views, labyrinthine streets and stairs, fishermen's cottages and mansions hidden behind high walls and beach - think of a picture postcard on a French Riviera landscape that feels like a seaside city.

The residential area - named after the rock on which it is located - began as a fishing village and became the destination of holiday homes; its rich villas were once the second home of wealthy industrialists, ship owners and merchants in the city.

The Avenue des Roches and the Chemin du Roucas-Blanc form the northwestern edge, with the Montée Commandan René Valentin sitting at the bottom, which intersects with the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde.

Its eastern edge takes rooms to du Bourdon, Saint-François d'Assise, Clémence and Gagliardo and then west to Boulevard Georges Estrangin and to the south via Pablo Picasso, des Colonies and Avenue de la Garde Freinet to merge with the President of Corniche John Fitzgerald Kennedy. .

Mr de Vial said Marseille's urban landscape consists of several villages, each with its own real estate market. "There are only a small number of homes on the Roucas-Blanc market at a time, and because of the high demand for homes, sellers often decide to sell their homes privately."

The house above Cornish, affected by significant traffic noise, was sold last year for more than € 7,000 per square meter, he said. “Everything needed renovation, but there was potential for expansion. We had the same house with books three years ago and nobody wanted to buy it. "

In the period, townhouses and fishermen's cottages cost between $ 4,000 and $ 7,000 per square meter, and villas with gates typically range between 7,000 and 10,000 square meters, Mr Leonetti said.

Roucas-Blanc mixes maritime heritage and old-school French Riviera glamor - with terracotta-tiled roofed fishermen's cottages, apartments, communal homes, Italianate manors and modern villas.

Its slopes are adorned with 19th-century homes set in walled gardens with views of the sea, the Château d'If, and the Frioul Archipelago and Corniche.

These include Villa Valmer, a Renaissance-style historic home open to the public, and Villa Gaby, a corniche-fronting Italian-style villa named after its former owner, music hall star Gaby Deslys, who donated the property to the city for hospital use.

There's even a castle: The Talabot Castle is an 1860s building designed by architect Paulin Talabot, architect Louis-Jules Bouchot, famous for its Nice and Milan train stations.

Located in 7 districts which, with 8arrondissement, are the most attractive places to live in Marseille. It has elegant architecture and a hilly environment covered with pine forests, offering a rural feel while offering incredible views.

"There are views of Notre Dame de la Garde on one side and sea views on the other, as well as charming little streets overlooking the cornice," Mr Leonetti said.

It's quiet and quaint and locals love it. "Little has changed in Roucas-Blanc," Mr de Vial said. “Most owners like to stay very narrow behind their old walls or hedges on very narrow roads. Nobody wants the Traverse Pey road to be widened, even if your car's mirrors are two to five centimeters from the walls and traffic is in both directions. "

It is less than a 15-minute drive from the regenerated Old Port or Vieux-Port, home to the Les Terrasses Du Port Shopping Center, with just under 200 shops and the Museum of Euro-Mediterranean Civilizations.

Surrounded by several sailing and boat clubs and yachts, this privately owned harbor is a sailing hub and is located near the new Hotel nhow Marseille, a hip and beach hotel with a view of the bay with spa and thermal springs.

Families and young people socialize and have a picnic on the sandy beach of Prophets. To the south of the harbor are two more beaches called Prada, backed by a public park and a garden.

One of the nearby eateries is the five-star Le Petit Nice Passedat, a five-star hotel in Bompard, with a restaurant that features Gérald Passédat Michelin-starred cuisine.

Within 1.5 miles of Endoume is the seaside seafood restaurant Le Peron et Chez Fon; Vegetarian Friendly L'Épuisette; and Viaghji di Fonfon, a Mediterranean tapas restaurant.

Notable private schools, Ms. Banchetri said, include Provence School, Jesuit Primary and Secondary School two miles from Périer; Notre Dame de la Jeunesse, a Catholic elementary school and college, nine miles away; and the International School EPIM, recently acquired by the Provence International Bilingual School and offering primary education. Saint-Victor is miles away.

Within three miles of the mall are gourmet eateries and Galeries Lafayette department stores with luxury brands such as See by Chloe and Gerard Darel.

Traditionally, Roucas-Blanc, an enclave of old-time Marseilles families who have lived there for generations, has become more popular with creative types, Parisians and foreign buyers, according to agents.

According to Banchetri, the city has a growing number of Parisian and foreign buyers looking for different and permanent homes due to the presence of many large companies in the area, Ms. Banchetri said.

For example, both CMA-CGM, the world's third largest shipping company, and Airbus Helicopters SAS, both of which are headquartered in Airbus, are headquartered in the city.

In addition, more people are moving or looking for fun and sunshine in the city for the weekend, as the 3.5-hour TGV service in Paris has made Marseille so accessible, Mr de Vial said.

Other famous residents and property owners include French television presenter Laurent Ruquier; Soccer player and actor Eric Cantona; Christophe Dechavanne, Head of French Television and Radio; Jean-Jacques Golman, French singer-songwriter and producer; ZiZi Jeanmaire, a French dancer who, according to Mr Leonett, was married to the late choreographer Roland Petit.

Ms. Banchetri points out that the market has been doing very well since 2018 and there has been a remarkable recovery in both rental and sales. ““ We have recently seen a rise in prices on all types of real estate and the offer of homes. less than demand, ”she said.

"The city's reputation has gradually improved," he added. “We see people outside the city wanting to buy in Marseille. Prices are lower than Paris, so I think many executives decide to invest in Marseille rather than Paris and continue to work and live in Marseille. Today, Monday morning flights and trains are full. "

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