Paris la Défense rejects the twin towers project

The twin towers of La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine) such as the former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy had dreamed of and that the British architect Norman Foster designed them, 320 meters high, on the banks of the Seine, facing Paris, will they ever emerge from the earth? December 28, 2021, three days before the deadline before which the pledges to sell land had to be signed between the public establishment Paris la Défense and the Hermitage group, the project leader, the establishment’s board of directors The public decided, unanimously, not to contract anything, failing, he explains, to see it sufficiently clear in the financing plan of the promoter, the Russian businessman Emin Iskenderov.

“The situation did not allow the conclusion of sales promises (…) under conditions acceptable to the public establishment, particularly in view of the absence of financial and technical guarantees provided by the project leader ”, Paris la Défense reported, in a three-paragraph press release published on Monday, January 3, making more and more hypothetical the construction of the two tallest skyscrapers in Europe, first promised for the mid-2010s, then for 2020, and finally for the 2024 Olympic Games. The Hermitage group he said “Stunned”, Tuesday January 4, “Fallacious elements” advanced by Paris la Défense for not respecting its commitment.

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This decision is the umpteenth rebound in a soap opera with many procedures started some fifteen years ago, in 2007, when the Russian promoter presented this twin towers project in the competition of the Signal tower, which was to be built at the foot. of the Grande Arche. Jean Nouvel wins the competition – the project will finally be abandoned for lack of investors – but the businessman does not admit defeat. The idea emerges from the drawers in 2010, against the backdrop of Franco-Russian rapprochements, and economic agreements signed between the two countries.

The real estate project, with its five hundred luxury apartments, its five-star hotel, but also its “Panoramic thalassotherapy center”, an art gallery, shops, and for which Vladimir Poutine promised that he would come to lay the first stone, would concretize this new agreement. A protocol is signed, a new architect appointed, a new place found, near the Pont de Neuilly. Charge to the developer to relocate the two hundred and forty-nine families who live in Les Damiers, a residence from the 1970s, owned by the social landlord of RATP, which must be demolished to make way for the new building.

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