Old town of Grasse: the new Martelly project on the way

Old town of Grasse: the new Martelly project on the way
Old town of Grasse: the new Martelly project on the way

The Grasse mega-urban renovation project (2.2 hectares out of the 10 in the old town) has been largely overhauled following the withdrawal of Bouygues Immobilier. The new version plays repair-reconstruction by reworking the existing in urban haute couture operations. Full room for his presentation.

Exit the project Martelly 1. Lead by Bouygues real estate, it was launched in 2016 then abandoned in 2023 without even having actually started. But today, hello Martelly 2 which was presented last Thursday at the Grasse Theater in front of a packed room. This is because the expectation of this mega-urban renovation initiated by the city in 2008 (it covers 2.2 of the 10 hectares of the old town) is high. It indeed conditions the entire operation of rebirth of a magnificent old town but degraded over time. (Photo DR: an overview of the ZAC Martelly to the east of the old town of Grasse).

A “repair-reconstruction” operation

Jérôme Viaud, the mayor, did not fail to recall this in the preamble to the presentation of the main lines and the main actors of the operation. “Martelly is one of the elements accelerating the transformation of the historic center of Grasse.” The new media library opening in December 2022 launched the movement. It continued with the inauguration of the Student Campus. The Martelly project, which represents a budget of €75 million, will amplify it.

However, its new version is different from that of the first project. The program has undergone a significant redefinition. Rather than a “demolition-reconstruction”, it moved towards a “repair-reconstruction” of this 18th century town with the maintenance of the historical heritage, marked by a specific geography (a steep slope) and a succession of belvederes, viewpoints which open onto superb panoramas.

The choice was therefore made to reuse all of the structures and in particular buildings from the 70s/80s. It is therefore a question of not destroying, but of coming to terms with what already exists based on an architecture in dialogue with heritage and its great landscapes. A work of haute couture. This is why the choice was made to bring together different project owners and designers. The result of the architectural competition makes it concrete: the Ateliers Lorin Architectes in Grasse, the Nice firm DP architecture as well as for the project management, the SPL, Eiffage, Primosud.

The five main components of the project

Differences in the design but also in the layout volumes on its five main components

  • Commerce : 6,000 m2 on the ground floor of the current Monoprix building and on the roof of the Rolland car park. The Monoprix brand should remain in the area, but will no longer have a dedicated building.
  • Parkings : 175 additional spaces are planned, including 78 in the Rolland garage rehabilitated into a car park.
  • Accommodations: the program has been revised downwards. Initially, it had 145 housing units. Martelly 2 plans 70 on four different sites.
  • Movie theater : also, revised downwards with 4 rooms (300 seats) compared to six. Built on the Kalin islet where the disused Oasis hotel stands, behind the Théâtre de Grasse, they will be operated by the Cannes Cinematographic Company (Cineum Cannes, Cinéplanet in Antibes).
  • Hôtel : Accor will open an 89-room Ibis Styles on two levels in the Monoprix building.

As for the work, it should begin at the start of the school year for certain sectors with openings lasting until 2028. A long-term project.

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