The developer of the huge development overlooking the entrance to Port Hercule that was first announced in April 2016 is awaiting the decision of an independent expert to assess the losses involved in taking the project to an advanced planning stage.

The Caroli Group had had initially claimed more than 423 million euros, according to several sources, and a press release from a Monaco court in November 2018 indicated that the developer had won his case and that the cancellation of the project had been illegal.

The Supreme Court of the Principality said it was illegal to withdraw the signature of the State for the contract it had signed with the company SAMEGI Caroli Immo for its “cultural and real estate project” and ruled that such a decision disregarded the principle of legal certainty and the constitutional protection of the direct and indirect financial interests of the company.

The futuristic project consisted of 42 luxury apartments, offices, shops, bars and two museums as plus a new a pedestrian promenade. It was due to break ground during 2016, but an intervention from the organisers of the Monaco Grand Prix stopped the project in its tracks.

“If this development goes ahead, it would automatically lead to the end of the formula one grand prix. I guarantee it,” Michel Boeri, president of the Automobile Club de Monaco, said in May 2016. The development’s footprint would have been in part over the area currently used to house TV crews and facilities for the Monaco Grand Prix and other events organised by the Monaco Automobile Club.

“It seems likely that a solution will be found but if one is not and the development goes ahead it could be that 2016 will see the last ever Monaco Grand Prix,” said in May 2016.

“No TV compound, no grand prix,” ACM’s Boeri said unequivocally. The project was cancelled.

The National Council was told last week that expert advice is now being sought to determine the financial losses to the Caroli Group, which also own the French-language weekly Monaco Hebdo. The expert assessment had been due on September 1, but a delay was sought and a report is now expected before the end of the year.

At a budget meeting of the National Council on October 5, Minister of State Serge Telle said that the issue is important for public finances, and it that it is part of the Government’s mission to “protect the moneys of the Principality.”

He added: “The government intends to continue to defend the interests of the State, by opposing the action taken by the promoter before this jurisdiction, by all means of law at its disposal… The State still intends to assert a number of facts, both factual and legal, which have not been debated or appreciated to their true extent.”

ORIGINAL SOURCES: ACM,, Monaco Matin, Monaco Hebdo and others IMAGE: Caroli Group