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Villa Rey, nugget of Biterrois heritage, saved by a pretty family

A couple from the Paris region acquired the house dating from the end of the 19th century. Enthusiastic, he nurtures nice projects that should materialize in the coming months.

It is a residence of character nestled in a green setting of 2,500 m2: the Villa Rey.

Without knowing it, a family that had previously resided in the Paris region has just saved this nugget of Biterrois heritage that has been repeatedly threatened by various real estate projects.

This Thursday evening, May 12, Natacha Trichard and Olivier Marguerat, accompanied by their children, Stella, 11, and Elio, 17, did not hide their enthusiasm, while the guests flocked in number to celebrate their new life. The couple has just acquired the Villa Rey on a crush.

The sale price displayed at the start was “€960,000”, says Jérôme Delprat, local employee of the Besse agency, specializing in exceptional properties, which made the transaction possible. But the final sale price will remain secret.

The Biterrois Jérôme Delprat is also a gallery owner, which is why he hung some of his contemporary works of art in the villa to celebrate this exceptional place and make this sale a small event (until today , 20 hours).

“A real favorite”

After 18 years at Nissan and positions in various places around the world, Natacha decided to open a new page alongside her husband. “We wanted to do something together”they explain.

During confinement, Olivier trained as a bicycle mechanic. Both end “a major real estate project in the Paris region”. The sale of this property allows them to project themselves into the south, which they know a little about, “from Avignon to Sète” but not beyond…

Finally, the visit to Villa Rey, “in his juice”is a “real crush”says Olivier, with a broad smile. “I dreamed of a professional project on the grounds of our home.”


In 2017, a project provided for its destruction

A few years ago, the Departmental Unit for Architecture and Heritage (Udap), an offshoot of the Drac (Departmental Directorate of Cultural Affairs), was seized and issued an unfavorable report, in March 2017, on a first real estate project which provided for the destruction of the Villa Rey.

The specialists had noted: “Built in the second half of the 19th century, it is enough to look at the villa Rey to see its great architectural value. Of eclectic style, it is characteristic of its time when the construction of the status of the notable and the wealth of its owners is made thanks to its architecture, its decorations and its garden.

In 2020, two permits filed by Angelotti… then abandoned

In July 2020, a building permit application was made to the town hall of Béziers by the promoter Angelotti. The project provided for the division of the 2,500 m2 plot into two, the first part comprising the preserved Villa Rey, the second a new housing complex. A permit refused in January 2021 with a negative opinion from the Architecte des Bâtiments de France, due to the volume of the project.

A second permit application was filed in December 2020, again by Angelotti, again with a division of the plot and the construction of 40 housing units divided into two buildings. But the town hall had asked the promoter to keep the remarkable cedar, in the middle of the park.

The program could no longer be carried out under the desired conditions, so Angelotti decided to give up. Villa Rey has been relisted. And finally quickly found a buyer

And Villa Rey allows it. Very quickly, the transaction materialized. Two months ago, the family collects the keys. And moved into a rental in Béziers while waiting for the completion of the renovation work.

“We are beyond the protected neighborhood but we are required to do things according to the rules”, underlines Olivier. Lime facade, radiators, electricity, paint, kitchen…

The necessary work is scheduled. Three guest rooms are planned on the first floor. For a place open to the public.

Exhibition and visit this Saturday, May 14, 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Villa Rey, 1 av. Enseigne-Albertini in Béziers. FREE ENTRANCE.

Arlett Cycles, a bike shop coffee shop

It is the Biterrois architect Vivien Gimenez who is working on the project (see the photo below): the opening of a “workshop showroom concept store” dedicated to the world of cycling. “It will also be a place where we will serve coffee in the morning, lunch”underlines Olivier Marguerat who targets in particular lovers of Gravel bikes, beautiful bikes, “travel and adventure bikes”.

Accessories will also be sold on site. This place will be born in the former caretaker’s house of Villa Rey “that we are going to enlarge and transform”with the creation of a kitchen and two beautiful terraces, one of which overlooks the street.

“A place open to the public which can also host micro-events.” 12 to 15 months of work are planned. If all goes well, the opening could take place in the spring of 2023.

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