DESPITE the crash in real estate values across much of western Europe, Cap Ferrat peninsula on the French Riviera continues to command prices only Russian oligarchs – and, it seems, Irish rock stars – can afford.
Construction work has just begun on a 372sq m (4,000sq ft) seafront villa being built by U2 bass guitarist Adam Clayton. It is not far from the estate formerly owned by troubled financier and property magnate Derek Quinlan, sold after a court order for around €70 million several weeks ago.
Clayton was known to own a house inland at Grasse. Several years ago he also bought a large beachfront property on what is known as the Petit Cap, the most exclusive section of this already elite playground. He demolished Villa la Girelle, which has nearly 1,858sq m (20,000sq ft) of high-walled gardens. He has been granted planning permission to build a large new house and pool on the site. Building work is at an early stage with little more than foundations visible.
Côte dAzur property developer and Clayton’s neighbour-to-be, Dubliner Angela Cavendish, says the Petit Cap is the dearest real estate in the world, where prices are determined only by the depth of would-be buyers’ pockets.
She didn’t know know how much Clayton is spending on his new house, but pro rata with Quinlan’s villa, it could command a price tag of €27 million. Bono, the Edge and Paul McGuinness all have houses in Eze, across the bay.
Waterfront locations on the Cap are much sought after by Arab oil magnates and Russian billionaires. Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokorov offered €390m for Villa Leopolda. When he tried to pull out of the deal, French courts ruled he had to forfeit a €39m deposit.
Report by MIKE MILOTTE – Irish Times