Amid a collective sigh of relief from local drivers who face difficulties finding parking spots in the capital, France has agreed to sell its entire northeastern area of Lorraine to be converted into a giant lot for Luxembourg cars.
The large plot will accommodate up to 10 million vehicles, says project head Fernand Braun, and the first spaces will be available as early as September. Officials foresee the eventual construction of special high-speed transport from the parking lot to Luxembourg.
The 5,800,000-acre Lorraine, which in 2016 was incorporated into the administrative region Grand Est, was on the market for years, admits Aurelie Tourtelier, who handles property sales for the French state.
“We already lowered the price two times, once in 2015 and again last year, but it wasn’t until we applied an after-Christmas discount of 30 percent off and threw in a vineyard in Champagne-Ardenne that we got a bite,” she said. “Lorraine is a decent and mostly flat stretch of land, very suitable for safe storage of a bunch of nice cars.”
“There’s certainly not much in the area except a couple of old churches and that place with spring water where old people go for curative baths,” she added. “Oh, and there’s a very nice hill which offers a stunning view of the surrounding nothingness.”
While Luxembourg officials haven’t divulged how much they are paying for Lorraine, they insist the purchase is a great deal and is less expensive than constructing another multi-storey P&R garage on the periphery of the capital.
Experts say that based on current growth, the number of new parking spaces will be adequate until 2025, at which point Luxembourg may need to purchase Belgium for use as an emergency overflow lot.