Monaco’s Port Hercule and Fontvieille Marina are described by Monaco Matin as ‘saturé’ due to their popularity, despite the substantial development and expansion of Port Hercule less than 15 years ago.
Consequently Monaco Ports have been looking for an opportunity to expand their port facilities and services, but the existing land usage and natural topography of the coastline present development limitations that have not favoured this.
It could be that they have finally found the solution in the Cala del Forte Marina in Ventimiglia. This was originally just a jetty in the 1960’s; positioned at the western end of the Passegiata Marconi in Ventimiglia, but it was recognised as an investment opportunity and in 2008 the construction of the Cala del Forte Marina commenced.
Data provided by the Marina’s official website indicates the Cala del Forte marina occupies a water surface of 65,000m² and original plans were to divide the berthing into seven jetties offering 300 marina berths ranging from 6.5m to 45m. The 75,000m² of land area would provide for the construction of 44 apartments; 13,000m² of parking spaces; 15,000m² of public parks and many businesses.
However, Monaco Matin suggests the economic climate did not work in the developers’ favour and the project started to face problems in 2010 that culminated in the termination of all development by 2013. Since then there has been no activity on the site.
Monaco Ports have been looking at the viability of investment in the recommencement and completion of this project as a link to their port and marina facilities in Monaco. Helicopters and Water-Taxis could be utilised to connect yacht owners with the Principality less than 20km away and approximately 30 minutes by road. A new Monaco based company called “Société Monégasque Internationale Portuaire” has been formed recently, which is thought to be linked to this project.
Provided the water depth is sufficient, the new investors would have the opportunity to adjust the berth mix to accommodate yachts larger than the 45m envisaged.
According to Monaco Matin newspaper; if ongoing negotiations are successful, we could see the project completed by 2019, although the Mayor of Ventimiglia has suggested that it could be as early as the summer of 2018.