• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Will Paris's mega leisure complex ever happen?
All photos: Europacity Flickr

Will Paris's mega leisure complex ever happen?

The Local · 11 Mar 2016, 14:19

Published: 11 Mar 2016 14:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Mar 2016 14:19 GMT+01:00

EuropaCity would be Europe’s most state-of-the-art shopping centre, located just 15km to the north of Paris. But its future is in question as public debate on whether it will go ahead starts on Tuesday.

The 80-hectare site would incorporate a shopping mall, hotel rooms, nightclubs and bars and would also serve educational purpose, with exhibition spaces and a conference centre.

But it would be bigger and better than existing leisure complexes in the area, also boasting an ice rink, circus, indoor ski slope, a 17-acre urban farm, a 150,000 metre squared theme park and an aquatic centre.

But so far it remains just a project, despite being on the drawing board for a decade. It is now being compared to other ambitious and controversial projects that have never seen the light of day, like the Notre Dame des Landes airport in Western France.

Developers and locals are however keen for it to go ahead.


The park would offer a panoramic view of Paris.

The Auchan group, which is behind the development, predict an influx of some 30 million tourists to the complex each year, including 6 million foreign visitors.


What a circus show at the complex might look like.

The total cost of the project is estimated at €3.1 billion, which would represent the biggest private investment project in France since Disneyland came to Paris in 1992. 

Developers justify the expense with the fact that EuropaCity would create 4,500 jobs for the construction, in addition to 12,000 fixed positions. They also say it will be entirely energy self-sufficient through the use of solar panels and geothermal power.

Six million foreign tourists are expected at the park each year.

It is planned for the 'Gonesse Triangle', a new business and commercial district not far from Charles de Gaulle airport in the north of Paris.

The complex will include a huge outdoor park and theme park.

The public debates will involve consultation with locals between March 15th and June 30th. Residents will get the opportunity to suggest their own ideas for the complex in a series of fifteen meetings before the final decision is made.

"We wil listen and these debates will help us develop the project, but our commitment to making sure it goes ahead it total," said CHristophe Dalpstein,the director of EuropaCity.  

Several exhibition spaces are planned.

Opponents of the idea argue that Paris has enough shopping malls and those in charge of neighbouring towns fear it will simply suck the life and jobs out their own areas.

Story continues below…

Eco-activists argue that it would be disastrous for the local agricultural industry as well as smaller local businesses. Militant environmental activists known as Zadists are already eyeing up the site as their next battle.

However, a survey by Odoxa carried out in December showed that 80 percent of locals were in favour.


The indoor ski slope.


A theme park to rival Disneyland Paris.

If given the go-ahead, work will begin in 2017 and the complex will open in 2020. But that's a big "if". 


What the complex would look like at night.

SEE ALSO: The most controversial building projects in France


All photos: EuropaCity Flickr

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Summer in France: The top ten beaches
Photo: Gomezdegomera/Flickr

How many have you been to?

France braces for busiest day of traffic all summer
Photo: AFP

Thinking of driving this weekend? The French are being advised to think twice.

Opinion
'France has problems but it's not on brink of civil war'
A French police officer stands in front of a Muslim prayer room after it was destroyed by a fire, suspected to be arson, in Ajaccio.. Photo: AFP

While certain French politicians and security chiefs have openly talked of the nightmare prospect of civil war in France, one expert tells The Local the country is too resolute to go down that path.

Ten hidden gems in France you should visit this summer
Photo: Erik Harström/Flickr

Looking for holiday ideas this summer?

What's on: Ten cool things to do in France in August 2016
Photo: AFP

August is almost here - and we've got you covered for events.

Paris in August: Should you stay or should you go now?
Photo: AFP

When it comes to August in Paris, you're either a stayer or a goer. But which is the best choice?

French PM: 'France needs new relationship with Islam'
Photo: AFP

As France struggles to get to grips with an increasing number of terror attacks the French PM says the country needs a new relationship with Islam.

France's Muslims urged to attend mass in solidarity
Photo: AFP

A leading Muslim group in France has called on its community to attend a church mass this Sunday to show solidarity with Christians after the recent jihadist killing of a priest.

Hopes hit as France reports 'disappointing' zero growth
Photo: AFP

Hopes of small economic growth in France were hit on Friday when the latest GDP figures were announced.

Air France strike affects 30,000 passengers each day
Photo: AFP

The week-long Air France cabin crew strike continued on Friday with some 30,000 passengers hit by cancellations each day.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Travel
Summer in France: The top ten beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
2,755
jobs available