in Espelette the municipality and a private investor are competing for a 600 m2 building in the heart of the town

in Espelette the municipality and a private investor are competing for a 600 m2 building in the heart of the town

in Espelette the municipality and a private investor are competing for a 600 m2 building in the heart of the town

Enrique Gérard describes “a very …

Enrique Gérard describes “a very run-down building, uninhabited for years”. With the exception, however, of a stall on the ground floor, where the AOP Ossau-Iraty has a shop window. “Upstairs it is not hygienic, everything needs to be redone. “The merchant, who runs 12 shops in the Basque Country, is expecting 1.3 million euros of work,“ maybe more ”, to create eight apartments there. And he swears that he wants to rent on social media. “This is a project that I will finance with the help of Anah (1). The counterpart is the construction of social housing. “

Affirm some experience. In Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port he has rehabilitated a building in five apartments: “Four in social and one in very social. It is rented 365 euros for 70 m² in social and 200 for 55 m² in very social. “Except that the municipality of Espelette also intends to create social networks. He therefore prevented, through the local public land authority. The acquisition takes place at the price estimated by the Estates, or 810,000 euros.

I am not a philanthropist, I create a heritage for my children. But I don’t buy resale or Airbnb


For the investor, municipal volunteering would be explained above all by the debts between him and the town hall. He bought the old Spar convenience store, opposite the market, which he transformed into the “venta Patxi”. The municipality would have preferred an electric power supply. “They proposed to Carrefour, to Leclerc. It is not followed. The purchase price is 380,000 euros, a grocery store would not be profitable. Enrique Gérard has settled down. He also purchased the adjacent buildings. “Since then, everything I ask for has been rejected,” he says.

To anticipate or not to anticipate?

This is the question that Espelette’s elected officials had to decide on the premises of the former Spar, purchased by private investor Enrique Gérard. For the opposition group Eskuz Esku, Yannick Jauréguy pushed in this direction. “The majority preferred not to, because the private buyer in the running was in talks with the owner. The municipality preferred to stay out of this complicated file. We think we should have assumed it. ”
The mayor, Jean-Marie Iputcha, describes a consensus on the principle of pre-emption. But he confirms his fear of the procedure then underway: “We would have recovered everything. It was risky for the municipal funds. “

The investor already owns two “social housing” in the village and plans to build four more. He objects that public power is in his role as he tries to control the land and produce social housing. That a social landlord offers greater guarantees on the sustainability of said housing. That the self-regulating magic of the market has not particularly shown itself on the real estate market of the Basque Country… “I am not a philanthropist, you agree, I am creating a fortune for my children. “If it exempts the passage fees, it refutes any speculative desire. “I don’t buy Airbnb-type resales or rentals. “

I think it is the ground floors that interest him to trade


The mayor, Jean-Marie Iputcha, does not intend to rely on the simple word of a private investor. “Anah’s help pays off after ten years, after the owner does what he wants. He can resell. “Contacted by” Sud Ouest “, Anah specifies:” The landlord who has benefited from our help is required to practice a regulated rent for five years, after which he is no longer bound by this framework. It is the same with the sale. “

The first magistrate “finds this desire to” do social service “on the part of” someone out of the ordinary “bizarre. “I think it’s the ground floors that interest him for business. We, the community, do not aim for profit. Our social housing will remain so. “

This is the stated goal. “We will work with the corporate owners, HSA, Office 64 or the COL. We have less and less building space, we want to densify the city center, so that empty buildings do not remain empty. “And try to rebalance a heart of the city that is petrified in tourist activity, in the essence of seasonality. The municipality aims at “two other buildings”.

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