The Open Sky commercial zone project in Pacé, near Rennes, as imagined by the property developer.
A project that will never see the light of day.
Contested, the Open Sky shopping area project in Pacé, near Rennes, has been abandoned.
Thursday evening, the board of Rennes Métropole will have to validate the compensation of 5.5 million euros that will be paid to the promoter La Compagnie de Phalsbourg because of the damage caused.
The community thus wants to avoid a long dispute to move the file forward.
The opposition is crying out for wasted money.
We are not going to hide behind words, the Open Sky commercial project which was to be built in Pacé, near Rennes, has turned into a fiasco.
Two years after the surprise announcement of its abandonment by the former president of the metropolis Emmanuel Couet, the vice-president of the agglomeration Sébastien Sémeril announced that an agreement had been reached with the promoter of the project.
If the metropolitan elected officials vote in this direction, the community will pay 5.5 million euros in compensation to the Compagnie de Phalsbourg.
“For nothing”, as the elected opposition leader Carole Gandon (LREM) likes to recall, who does not hesitate to talk about “money thrown down the drain”.
This pharaonic project provided for 26,000 m² of retail space and 1,400 parking spaces over a total area of nine hectares located on the outskirts of the Touche area, which already houses the Ikea and Cora locomotives.
Long contested in court, the project was validated by the Council of State in December 2018 and the sale of seven of the nine hectares was recorded in the wake.
A month later, the boss of the metropolis buried the idea.
“I understand that the trading system has evolved and that this project may have been abandoned.
But it was this timing that shocked us, ”recalls Hervé Depouez, the new mayor of Pacé.
He like his predecessor Paul Kerdraon were attached to this ambition to revitalize this western part of the city, the only one that can be considered as "under-endowed", in comparison to the axes leading to Nantes, Saint-Malo or Paris, which have all seen their offer expand in recent years.
“Five million euros is a hell of a lot, but it allows us to move forward,” explains the mayor.
"We were not really in a favorable position to negotiate"
Vice-president in charge of economic development, Sébastien Sémeril explains that this allowance was "the best solution" to get out of this quagmire.
“The discussions were bitter.
The Compagnie de Phalsbourg owned the land and we were not really in a good position to negotiate.
We could have had a very expensive and very long legal dispute, which would have prevented us from moving forward.
There, at least, the story starts again ”.
If the metropolitan council votes in favor of this compensation, the public company Territoires will be able to buy back the seven hectares it had sold.
The compensation of 5.5 million euros will be entered in the budget of the Concerted Development Zone (ZAC).
A pebble in the shoe that the community hopes to remove by developing activities.
Because if the shopping center project is abandoned, the old agricultural area will not be returned to nature.
“The project was over and over.
But the area will host economic, artisanal and commercial activity as it needs it.
We will get to work in the coming days.
We will need a little time but I am confident, ”said Sébastien Sémeril.
"A new chapter will open on Thursday evening"
The mayor of Pacé shares this optimism.
According to him, the new zone will have no trouble finding buyers even if its economic model remains to be defined.
“The attractiveness of this route is recognized.
It is the one that opens onto Brittany, ”says Hervé Depouez.
For now, no sign has expressed the official wish to set up there.
“A new chapter will open Thursday evening around 10 pm,” warns Sébastien Sémeril.
At this time, the left majority should have authorized the president of the metropolis Nathalie Appéré to sign the compensation agreement.
Not without regrets.
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