Published on 15 Jan. 2022 at 11: 37
Three years ago, it was a wasteland. From next spring, it should be the beating heart of the town of Gennevilliers (Hauts-de-Seine). This is, at least, the hope of the town hall, which has been aiming for soon 15 years to create a real town center for the town. The first inhabitants settled down a few months ago. In the spring, the first shops will open their doors, before the start of the second phase of the works.
This new city center must take place on a plot of 15 hectares, opposite the town hall of Gennevilliers between the avenues Gabriel Peri and Claude Debussy. Previously occupied by a cemetery, this land had been unoccupied for more than 20 years. “The previous municipality organized, in 2003, assizes of the city. The main request that came up from the inhabitants was to have a real city center ”, recalls Anne-Laure Perez, deputy mayor for development, urban planning and major works, at the town hall of Gennevilliers.
130 dwellings, 9.000 m2 of shops
“We had an administrative city center, but no real place to live and above all a lack of local shops,” she continues. The idea caught on and at the end 2013 a ZAC Center-ville was created on the site of the old cemetery. The future district must be organized around a vast pedestrian street, dotted with shops and services at the foot of buildings (9.15 m2 in all ). It will include 130 accommodation including a student residence with 100 spaces and a car park with 650 seats.
Started in 2018, the first phase of work was delayed by Covid. It should end in the spring 2022, with the opening of some of the shops, currently in the interior design phase. From next May, the inhabitants already installed in the first housing units will be able to take advantage of a gym, an organic store, a supermarket, a brasserie with a terrace, several caterers, a bakery and a social and solidarity economy shop, managed by the town hall.
A center in the image of the rest of the city
Because the new town center of Gennevilliers wants to be social. Throughout the district, as in the rest of the city, the town hall has chosen to offer 50% social housing and 50 % of home ownership housing, of which 15 % of social home ownership . “We wanted this city center to be inhabited by Gennevillois, so the accommodation had to be accessible to them”, explains Anne-Laure Perez. A priori successful bet, since about two thirds of the future inhabitants of the district are Gennevillois.
The town hall also insisted on the feeling of security in the streets of the new city center. For example, she has collaborated with the association Les Urbaines, which works on the issue of gender in the public space. “In particular, we asked for through building halls, to improve visibility. And we have installed streetlights that light up according to the movement, ”explains the deputy mayor.
The second phase of work should be completed in 2024. It provides for the creation of new businesses, geared towards services and the latest housing.