SELLER: Gerard Depardieu
LOCATION: Paris, France
PRICE: somewhere in the neighborhood of €50,000,000
SIZE: 19,375 square feet, 10 bedrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although we first heard this a couple days ago from an informant we’ll call Pepe Le Pew, a nasty, frustrating and ongoing tangle with our internet service provider has put us well behind the eight ball as regards to the international celebrity real estate news that Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated French actor Gerard Depardieu (Green Card, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jean de Florette), has hoisted his super-sized 19th-century hôtel particular in the swank 6th arrondisement of Paris on the open market with an asking price rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of €50,000,000. A quick consult with Your Mama’s currency conversion contraption shows that’s a backbone straightening $65,362,000, at today’s rates.
So the stories go, the wealthy 64-year old actor, filmmaker and entrepreneur has allegedly already pulled up stakes and moved to a tiny town in Belgium in order to avoid the temporary but painfully high 75% top tax rate set to take effect in France next year.
Global celebrity gossips say the once dashing now—well—less dashing actor has already decamped to the small town of Néchin, about 150 north of Paris and just 800 yard over the French-Belgian border, a tax avoiding relocation that France’s Socialist president François Hollande called a “shabby” maneuver and the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called “rather pathetic.”
Just to be clear, as Your Mama understands it, the dramatically high rate applies to annual revenues in excess of €1,000,000, about 1,300,000 U.S. dollars at today’s rates. “The highest marginal tax rate on the first $1.3 million would be 45 percent,” according to an October report in the New York Times. That means if a resident of France earns €999,999 their tax rate tops out at 45%. President Hollande has said, according the New York Times article, that the higher rate was “a largely symbolic measure that will affect only a few thousand individuals.” Anyhoo…
We don’t know how to check property records in France but recent reports out of France reveal the much lauded and applauded actor actually acquired the property in 1994 for 25,000,000 (pre-euro) French francs, an amount then equal to about $4,614,670 (US). We’re not able to check property records in France but
Mister Depardieu’s Parisian pied a terre comprises two separate structures, according to listing information, with a total of 10 bedrooms in around 1,800 square meters of interior space. That’s right around 19,375 square feet. The historic part of Monsieur Depardieu’s humongous house—dubbed the Hôtel de Chambon—was built in 1820 for and named after the Baron de Chambon. Monsieur Depardieu acquired it in 2003 for an unknown sum. His original plans called for a 1.5 renovation—that’s just under two million U.S. clams at today’s rates—that would provide office space for his film production company as well as several apartments for family and friends. At some point Monsieur Depardieu switched gears and began to convert the bulk of the residence to a luxury boutique hotel that was scheduled to open sometime in 2013.
A private garden separates the hôtel from Monsieur Depardieu’s much more contemporary private living quarters. The multi-level abode’s primary living space is an especially cavernous, loft-like main room with living, dining and cooking areas. There are at least two bedrooms and—very rare in central Paris—a private indoor swimming pool in the basement. The children will note the elaborately florid fretwork on stairs and over the exterior windows.
Mister Depardieu is not the only wealthy Frenchman said to have (allegedly) left France in order to avoid the sky-high taxes. Both superstar singer Johnny Hallyday and Old Timey French actor Alain Delon have long lived in Switzerland and multi-billionaire Bernard Arnault—he-rah of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) multi-national luxury goods conglomeration—was raked over the coals by the media last year when it became public he’d requested Belgian citizenship. Monsieur Arnault has denied the change in citizenship was requested due to tax reasons and, indeed, he sued one newspaper for public insult for making such a claim.
listing photos: Daniel Féau