CALA DEL FORTE VENTIMIGLIA Interview with Gian Battista Borea D’olmo, new General Manager at Cala del Forte.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR LUXURY YACHTS
Construction work started again at the end of February in the Cala del Forte in Ventimiglia, following the Monaco based building society’s acquisition of the area. The port is scheduled for completion during the summer of 2018. It will comprise 171 berths, a maintenance/repair yard and an area destined to commercially going concerns. A binding agreement between Société Monégasque Internationale Portuaire (SMIP) – owned by Société d’exploitation des Ports De Monaco (SEPM) – and the Cozzi Parodi Italian group for the acquisition of the Cala del Forte’s com- pany shares. This considerable infrastructural development is a unique more than a rare opportunity for this border town, as underscored by Enrico Loculan city mayor during the event celebrating the re-start of the work on February 21st. We interviewed Gian Battista Borea D’olmo, General Manager for SEPM who’s also been head of Monaco port for a decade, in his office to learn more about this acquisition. Let’s begin with the news about the restarting of the works in Ventimiglia, what was it that started everything? It all really started for lack of space, in the Monaco ports, Port Hercule, and Fontvielle, have limited capacities that can’t be expanded any further, firstly due to the depth which
is perhaps one of the deepest in the Mediterranean, in some spots it reaches about 60 metres. In 10 years of our management we’ve managed to optimize to full capacity. On one side we have no margin to expand into and on the other we’re confronted with long waiting lists. For this reason we were compelled to look elsewhere. Initially we thought about Cap-d’ail which already has a small harbour and could have been an interesting option, but there were several drawbacks first and foremost the existing concession is due to expire in 2027. Obviously I began to look again and thought about something in Ventimiglia which in fact is less than 20 kilometres away and only 8 nautical miles away from Monaco. Geographically speaking the spot is also well suited because it is just below Ventimiglia’s high ground with its residential area, and the spot has enormous potential also from a touristic view point. In actual fact Ventimiglia is plunged into a very different social contest when compared to Monaco’s, with an image which is not enviable perhaps nor even remotely glamour. In which ways can this project represent a resource for the city and vice-versa? What’s decidedly more difficult and complex to understand is where the potential of a port is. Ventimiglia possesses a number of prerequisites which enabled me to spot that potential. A few requirements, as I was just saying, are fundamental: The nearness to clearly definable destinations, the right dimensions, the positioning,, the berths that can be obtained. After this we must consider the context, the territory. Even if little known, and less publicised Ventimiglia Alta is truly beautiful and the port will naturally become a resource which will enhance the requalification of the contouring city. This said, since word of the port has gotten around, there are already a number of Monegasques buying properties in Ventimiglia Alta. The arrival of the kind of clientele we’re expecting will certainly bring about financial growth, a revaluation, a change even in culture. We’re looking at an entire system which is starting to re qualify the whole territory. Among other considerations part of the plan is to build a direct vertical link between the port and Ventimiglia Alta which is possible by deploying a lift placed inside the mountain and or a rack and pinion railway because it is very important that the marina has a connecting link with the territory. This will be one of the plans for the city we are determined to build as part of the project. How is this project different from the original one? We agreed to acquire, as long as we could modify the lay-