On 17th December 2016, the town council of Antibes Juan-les-Pins approved that the concession to operate both Port Vauban and Port Gallice would be granted to the ARTEMIS Group, led by the local chamber of commerce, the CCI Nice Cote d’Azur, after several months during which 7 bidders had been able to present their projects.
In figures, here is what this decision means for the town of Antibes:
18 000 000€ paid annually to the town for both marinas, which represents approximately 10% of the town’s current budget
Of which: 15,800,000€/annum will be paid over 25 years for Port Vauban
And 2,200,000€/annum will be paid over 15 years for Port Gallice
135,000,000€ will be invested over the next 25 years in Port Vauban
16,000,000€ will be invested over the next 15 years in Port Gallice
The ARTEMIS Group
Of the 4 bidders who had applied for the concession of both marinas, ARTEMIS, after the Greek goddess of “paths and ports”, is made of:
The CCI Nice Cote d’Azur (Chamber of Commerce)
The Caisse d’Epargne Cote d’Azur (or CECAZ)
The Caisse des Depots et Consignations
This trio presents advantages for the town: On one side, the CCI has a local and proven experience, as it currently managing four marinas in the region of the Alpes Maritimes, representing 4,700 berths in total (from east to west, the Port of Villefranche Darse, the Port of Nice, the Port of Golfe Juan and the Port of Cannes); On the other side, a public investment group and a bank, should offer the consortium solid financial foundations.
The Project for the Marinas
Throughout the month of January, the new management has presented its project as humble but realistic, sustainable, credible… and also as being ambitious! ARTEMIS wishes to reassert Antibes’ status as the “Mediterranean Capital of Yachting”. In its approach, the new operator has outlined 3 major goals:
Antibes’ Yachting Campus. New infrastructures will be created to better welcome the thriving yachting community in Antibes, where many crew members come for education and training
Creating synergies between yachting and the technological hub of Sophia-Antipolis, one of the economic backbones of Antibes, through various actions, such as the creation of “FAB LABs” in Port Gallice.
Marinas to be lived in. As in modern marinas being built nowadays, the place of cars in the marinas’ sceneries is going to be rethought and adapted, so that there be less obstacles to pedestrians wanting to walk to the quays. For instance, the Quai des Combattants en Afrique du Nord (more widely known as the Capitainerie Quay) could look more like a vast pedestrian area, than like an open-air car park.
The most recurring statement from the new port operator is that it wants to put the “Customer at the head of the marina”. This implies a close cooperation with the various players of the yachting industry in Antibes and its surrounding region. The CCI having already been very involved in the nautical industries for years, it should be more than capable to create synergies in Antibes’ yachting sector.
In Port Gallice, the same approach will be implemented. The marina’s outer wall will be subject to important works, so as to raise the level of the quays to a sufficiently much needed higher level to prevent them from being submerged in the years to come. In addition, as it is expected more megayachts should be anchoring off the Cap d’Antibes, a quay dedicated to welcoming their tenders will be created.
The Changes in Port Vauban, in a nutshell…
A New Port Office by the Anse St-Roch
. This new building, which will stand where the showers and toilets are currently located along the Anse St Roch, will be much more than a “capitainerie” but a complex where various services and activities will be hosted. In addition to office space for the marina staff, showers and toilets, there will be rooms to host courses and training seminars, as well as shops. There will also be a pedestrian bridge connecting this building (and the marina) with the nearby train station.The current Port Office will become the new Yacht Club
. Demolition and reconstruction works are planned for the port office tower. The new building will be modern, where it will be possible to dine and relax, as it is customary in yacht clubs in all high places of the yachting world.A New Marina Office for the IYCA.
The building used by the port staff of the Billionaires’ Quay, where the helipad is also located, will be rebuilt.Changes by the “Fort Carre”.
The area surrounding the Square Fort, where the Monaco Marine shipyard and various portacabins and containers are located, will be reorganised as much as possible, to the benefit of businesses in this area whilst improving the scenery for the users and visitors.An underground car park with space for 600 cars
will be built where the garden along avenue du 11 novembre
, near the future Port Office complex. This will make it possible to reduce traffic along the quays and make space for pedestrians, by putting nearly half of the marina’s current 1,400 parking spaces below ground.
What changes for berth lease-holders ?
The sizeable investment these various projects represent justifies the need for berth leases to be sold by the ARTEMIS Group. At the end of each of the current berth-leases in place, it will be possible to subscribe to a Guaranteed Use contract
, only for berths over 18 metres in length.Note: A Guaranteed Use contract is the form under which the Right to Use a berth in France is to be transferred, since 1981 (Circular #81-22/2/5 of 19th March 1981) and replaces the old lease system (“amodiation” in French). The Guaranteed Use contract is more comparable to a rental contract for a number of years, payable in advance, and can normally not be sold to a third party. This type of long term contract has already been in place for years on the French Riviera in marinas such as Port Fréjus and in Saint-Raphael for instance. The old lease system has remained and will continue to do so until 2021, since the first berth-leases were sold in 1972.
Berth leaseholders in Port Vauban and Port Gallice will be given first refusal to subscribe to a Guaranteed Use contract. For instance, currently, the users of the berths located on the Billionaires’ Quay, whose Rights to Use had expired on 1st
January 2017, are being offered new Guaranteed Use contracts.
In its approach of putting the customer first, the new operator wishes to nurture long term relations with all those who have made the marinas what they are today, namely berth leaseholders. Those who will not subscribe to a Guaranteed Use contract will in any case be given priority to rent a berth in the marina, once their lease has expired.
It also seems the new marina management does not wish to use its pre-emption right
, which would entitle it to buy back, at competitively capped prices, some of the current berth leases before 2021. This right had been highlighted to buyers and sellers throughout 2016. Finally, the new operator will let the current leases run until their planned termination date.
For more information on the project, visit the marina’s new website www.marina-port-vauban.com