The Amazing Hermitage Plaza At La Défense Is Finally Ready To Be Built

Press release

“On the 24th of June, the Administrative Court of Cergy-Pontoise rejected all the appeals against the
building permits of the Hermitage Plaza towers…Since we announced our intention to build the towers with Norman Foster, (2009-2010?) one of the world’s leading architects, we had to face a fierce and vindictive opposition that initiated numerous appeals. In the end, fortunately, the law prevails.” – Emin Iskenderov

This sturcture which will be the largest mixed use building in Europe is a joint venture between Russia and France. It will create 5,000 jobs during its construction and 3,000 direct jobs for its operation. The towers will be best-in-class in terms of technical efficiency and sustainable development.

Some of the most powerful people on the planet were behind this project.

Yet it still took 5 plus years to get it green lit.

That’s why France is considered THE most transparent real estate market in the world.

No matter who you are you can’t just throw money around and expect to get things done.

You have to accept this is the way the French do things.

You have to deal with the burearcracy, go through the motions and be patient and persistent.

It’s the only way to make things happen. They’ve been around for thousands and thousands of years.

As for your time schedule?

Guess what? No matter who you are, you can wait.

Welcome to France!

What It’s Like to Be a Woman In a Man’s World

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Field That’s Still 99 Percent Male Nina MacLaughlin. (Photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

In 2008, journalist Nina MacLaughlin quits her desk job of seven years with no plan for what to do next. Though she had no experience to speak of she jumped at the chance to apply to a Craigslist job posting for a carpenter’s assistant. She was especially heartened by the tagline “Women strongly encouraged to apply,” and sent off her application right away.

She got the job, and has been a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ever since.

In her new memoir, ‘Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter’, MacLaughlin tells us her experience of abandoning her desk job and the satisfaction and joy of learning to work with her hands. She spoke with the Cut about what her career switch taught her about ambition, how working as a carpenter changed her own femininity, and what it’s like to be a woman in a field that’s still 99 percent male.

To read the full interview click the photo or click here.

3 Amazing Reasons To Buy In France NOW Rather Miss A Chance Of A Lifetime

English: Exchange rate Euro - Slovak koruna De...

English: Exchange rate Euro – Slovak koruna Deutsch: Wechselkurs Euro – Slowakische Krone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Wall Street Journal article ‘American Real Estate Buyers Take Advantage of the Falling Euro’ gives us an insight to why now is time to buy in Europe.

  1. Europe On Sale 25% Discount!: For Americans who have always dreamed of owning a second home overseas but have hesitated for one reason or another, the falling euro’s is a game changer. The dollar has strengthened 26% against the euro in less than a year. The last time the dollar was this trading this strong was in 2003.
  2. Rejoice In Choice:  President Hollande’s market reforms put a damper on a French housing trend that was rising at a time when many property markets around the world were struggling. This led to the housing glut we see today.  “There are also more choices: Inventory of the highest-end apartments is way up”, said Mr. Kraft of Sotheby’s, “partly in response to new taxes on wealth and assets.”
  3. A Perfect Storm – New prices, plus the exchange rates, are just starting to lure Americans back into a market they have avoided since the financial crisis. However, combine that with mortgage rates at an all time low worldwide and this truly is a torrential down pouring of opportunity for anyone who ever dreamed of buying property in France.

The Rotting Rothschild Mansion Of Paris

The Rothschilds are legendary as one of the greatest European banking families ever. They own grand estates and Chateaus throught the world that are well-known for anything but squalor, ruin or decay. However just outside of Paris, walking distance from Metro Jean Jaurès Line 10, standing quietly behind a thick wall of shrubbery and overgrowth is the haunting, ghostly figure of the Chateau Rothschild.

The neo-Louis XIV estate house has been abandoned since the World War II when the Rothschild family fled to England. Germans would inhabit and plunder the house during the four-year Nazi occupation of Paris. After the city’s liberation, the U.S. army were the next tenants at the Chateau Rothschild. The Rothschilds never returned to their home which has been left to rot, crumble and deteriorate.

This once palatial estate was built to reflect the Rothschild wealth and fortune. It boasted a regal English garden with picturesque waterfalls and beautiful indoor frescoes by Eugène Lami. For over eight years James Rothschild and his wife Betty, hosted the most lavish parties of the time within these walls.

Their guests and party goers would include great artists of the day like Rossini, Chopin, Balzac, and Delacroix as well as, a who’s who of the financial and political world.

Chopin even dedicated his Valse Op. 64, N° 2 in C sharp minor to their daughter Charlotte.

As the champagne flowed while the laughter and music rang through the halls, it would have been impossible to imagine that the this great estate house, the Chateau de Rothschild would be doomed to become a playground for vermin, graffiti artists and vandals.

Sources:

http://www.messynessychic.com

http://www.urban-exploration.com

https://www.wikipedia.org/

Vacationing family decides to restore abandoned French chateau


They’ve unearthed mysterious medieval tunnels, uncovered ancient artifacts that hint to what daily life was like , and uncovered a beautiful fresco in a salon on the first floor. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.) It sounds romantic, but the process of buying and restoring a property of such size and significance has been an arduous labor of love.

Join this Australian family who had been on the hunt for a vacation home in France and then stumbled on a property in need of some major TLC that captured their hearts.

“We had never planned on a chateau. Our French friends warned us about those,” says Karina Waters,  “But after driving down the snow-capped mountains and seeing the chateau’s grounds from the village, we were sold.”

Click here to visit their website and see how things are going.

Île Saint-Louis – Complete Paris Apartment Renovation

Once in a life time you have a client that you just don’t get along with. At first you think things are manageable but things go sour and no matter how hard you try it never gets better.  It’s not the fault of either. It’s just one of those things.

Then once in a life time you have a client that changes everything. Once in a life time you meet someone that is so dynamic, so artistic, so engaging, so maniacal, so passionate yet at the same time so ‘normal’, who can put on a face that is congruent to what people think he should be, he challenges the boundaries of your own perceptions about what is available in for use as an individual in the world.

We are going to call him the Maverick.

On and off, for circumstances we could not control, the better part of three years we were isle-in, like a villain, on penicillin with the Maverick.

It was  a glorious time.

When we met Mavs, we had no idea that he was ‘renting a womb’ as he put it, to have children with his partner.

We eventually met his partner, his wonderful children and enjoyed the company of his warm loving family.

He would bring us simple yet thoughtful and caring gifts from America.

Once he said, ‘Guys, don’t listen to me. There’s a saying ‘Get your hands off my ears. I know what I’m doing.’

How do yo not love a guy like that?

If you are reading this, Maverick we miss this time we had together.  So here is a video in honor of and that begs the inside joke from.

It’s the Isle. Do you know what time it is? 😀

Smart Small Space Renovation

Metro de París

Metro de París (Photo credit: Maldark)

The average price of a home or apartment in Paris is 10,000 euros a square meter. Just outside of Paris the price drops dramatically but as far as the city of Paris itself, a renovation of the this size would be of a home worth millions and millions of dollars.

We forget how lucky we are as North Americans where simple working class people from Vancouver can live in a space that in other parts of the world are the domain of the rich and well to do. God Bless North America! 😀

But even if you have a small place here in Paris this fun before and after video gives some great tips.

The mirror at the front entrance is a great idea because it reflects the light through out the house..

They do a nice job of having a basic color theme that they continue throughout the home with accents in the bedroom and the family room.

And from a construction cost stand point they made a good choice by replacing the bathroom with an island for the kitchen. This saves on the cost of rerouteing the plumbing which in certain situations can get painfully expensive.

Good job guys!

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