Cannes: The Building Site Draws Attention On Croisette As Festival Looms

Developers have taken a wrecking ball to some of the most distinctive properties on the Croisette in Cannes.

“It’s like a gaping wound,” gasped one onlooker as they surveyed the desolate scene Monday on the block that was once 33 Croisette.

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One apartment building and shopfronts have been demolished, while a neighboring property was still in the process of being leveled.

The construction scene on Cannes’ Croisette
The construction scene on Cannes’ Croisette

So many Cannes Film Festival delegates stopped by to witness the destruction that it was soon being dubbed Cannes: The Building Site.

Jean-Claude Annaert, directeur général of Michaël Zingraf Real Estate, explained to Deadline that the demolition of the old apartment blocks would continue until early June. “Then we will put up the most beautiful, luxurious apartments.”

Annaert told us there will be 20 residences with the new complex plus two penthouses with sweeping views of the Mediterranean. ”Unparalleled, sweeping vistas,” said Annaert, continuing the sales pitch.

Jean-Claude Annaert of Michaël Zingraf Real Estate
Jean-Claude Annaert of Michaël Zingraf Real Estate

Asked whether the unique buildings could have been restored rather than pulled down, Annaert dismissed such a notion by shaking his head.

“They could not remain,” he insisted.

“Look, look at this image,” Annaert demanded as he gestured to two associates who were holding a whiteboard the wrong way around. It was completely blank.

“No, no, no, it’s on the other side,” said Annaert as he requested the board be flipped over.

This time, however, it was merely upside down, but it did show some sort of view of what the developer was hoping to accomplish.

An upside-down view
An upside-down view

Annaert wondered what all the fuss was about.

“They were old very old buildings. We shall soon have new ones,” he reasoned.

Further along the Croisette at La Villa Malmaison, the longtime Cannes home of Quinzaine des Cinéastes, a massive renovation was underway on a classic structure,parts of which were built over 150 years ago.

Construction workers carried on with their work, refusing to respond to probing from Deadline. Though a bit of digging revealed that the the building would become an arts centre.

Along the rue d’Antibes, the famous Star Cinema,closed for several years, has been undergoing an extensive facelift. The result-including four screening rooms and spaces for events- will be unveiled in 2025. Eiffage Construction have pledged to preserve the original 1913 facade.

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