Monaco Billionaire Buys A Dozen Properties In Tiny Carmel Village, Sets Off Alarm Bells

In Carmel-by-the-Sea, a popular tourist destination located on the Central Coast of California, a recent $7.5 million sale has sparked concern among many locals, who fear Monaco billionaire Patrice Pastor is quickly buying up the tiny Monterey County village.

Pastor’s latest acquisition, the La Rambla building, is a two-story stucco structure that boasts retail space on the ground floor and apartments on the second level, complete with Juliet balconies facing the street. 

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Built in 1929, the building’s defining feature is a courtyard decorated with a variety of tiles and hand-carved stone urns.

The property was initially listed back in 2020 by local real estate agent Tim Allen for $9 million.

Locals of Carmel, a tiny California village, are concerned about billionaire Patrice Pastor’s investment in high-priced, historic landmarks

Image credits: Chris Leipelt

The charming building, located in the heart of the village’s main commercial corridor, is a spot cherished by locals, who exhibit concern over Pastor’s growing footprint in the area. This is because Pastor has been accumulating more than a dozen high-priced, historic properties in Carmel over the past nine years, according to SFGate.

Among those properties are landmarks like the L’Auberge Carmel Hotel, the Brown-Spaulding Building, and the Eastwood Building.

Carmel is used to tourism—its high-end accommodations, boutique shops, art galleries, and easy access to a white sand beach make it an attractive destination for over 4.5 million visitors. Still, as of the 2020 census, the town’s permanent residents are only 3,220.

While Carmel attracts millions of tourists thanks to its upscale restaurants and white sand beaches, its permanent residents are only 3,000

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Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

One of them, who owns and operates a business in downtown Carmel, said Pastor’s presence in the tiny town has convinced many residents that they’re “handing over our town to one person who’s doing what he wants to do.”

“People are terrified,” the business owner confessed.

Besides his property empire, Pastor is also known for his public feud with Monaco’s Prince Albert II, the son of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.

On May 15, 2022, Le Monde reported on a classified email published on a website called Les Dossiers du Rocher.

The email in question was sent in November 2020 from Nicholas Saussier, Prince Albert II’s press adviser, to Thierry Lacoste, a friend of the prince: “That octopus Pastor is everywhere! He has gotten his hooks into Monaco. He has gone mad, he has no limits!”

Pastor’s latest acquisition, the La Rambla building, is a two-story stucco structure that boasts retail space on the ground floor and apartments on the second level

Image credits: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Last May, Air Mail—a magazine founded by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter—wrote, “Patrice Pastor has been described as the only man in Monaco more influential than its ruler.”

“He is a canny, outspoken developer with statement glasses and leonine hair, who has long controlled Monaco’s property market and thus, in essence, most of Monaco itself.”

Pastor’s rivals characterize him as competitive in the article and as someone who wants “to win contracts, “not for the money … but to crush everyone.”

The charming building, located in the heart of the village’s main commercial corridor, is a spot cherished by locals

 

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Unlike many permanent residents, local realtor Tim Allen highlights the potential long-term benefits of Pastor’s investments.

“We need people who are investing for generations,” Allen told SF Gate. “I think the focus has been on, ‘Oh, my gosh, he’s buying up everything!’ But the reality is he owns very little compared to some families that have been here for a while.”

“People are terrified,” a local business owner confessed

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

“We need an influx. If he’s restoring something in an area that’s big or small, it shows that if people work together as opposed to thinking someone’s right or wrong, then you can move everything in the right direction.”  

He continued: “I know Patrice. He’s like family, and he loves Carmel, loves it. And what he’s doing is good for our community.”

Still, skepticism remains as locals worry about rising property taxes and the displacement of local businesses.

Many residents fear Pastor’s investments will bring rising property taxes and the displacement of local businesses

Image credits: Carmel by the Sea

“What’s going to happen as he spends so much money on the building, the property tax goes up and the rents go up and the only people who can afford it are chain stores?” the Carmel business owner, who chose to remain anonymous, said.  

“What’s going to happen to our mom-and-pop shops? What’s going to happen to our local feel?”

The concerned business proprietor, who said they recently made a trip to Monaco to see the fruits of the Pastor family’s labor and referred to the scene as a “concrete beehive,” believes locals should voice their opinions regarding Pastor’s project in order to protect the village.

“Now is the time to stand up,” they concluded. “If not now, then we’re going to look and feel incredibly different in five years.”

Most people disapproved of the billionaire’s investments in the tiny village

The post Monaco Billionaire Buys A Dozen Properties In Tiny Carmel Village, Sets Off Alarm Bells first appeared on Bored Panda.
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