With its military barracks renovation project, Libourne dreams of being the capital of wine tourism

“Commercial Barnum” for opponents, “new district” for the mayor of the city, the project to renovate the military barracks of Libourne, abandoned since 2009, does not leave indifferent. It must be said that businessman Michel Ohayon, CEO of Financière Bordeaux, has seen big. He wants to build there “The most important wine tourism project in Europe”.

50 000 m2 open-air shopping streets carried by the Bordeaux architect Michel Pétuaud-Létang, articulated around wine and its universe with the presence of 150 merchants, but also fashion, embellished with a 5-star palace, a museum from 6,000 to 8,000 m2 dedicated to vintage cars and contemporary art, or even a convention center… and even a leisure park for children.

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This pharaonic project aims to welcome between 6 and 8 million visitors per year. “The first groundbreaking should take place at the end of 2022, beginning of 2023”, said Mr. Ohayon, who is at the head of twenty-two Galeries Lafayette franchises and bought the Camaïeu brand in August 2020, during a press conference on January 13. The mayor (PS) of the city, Philippe Buisson, is crossing his fingers that the opening will take place by the end of his term, ideally in 2025.

” The man for the job “

The Lebanese military barracks and their seven hectares housed until 2009 the school of non-commissioned officers of the national gendarmerie. The Bordeaux businessman, by the way 144e French fortune, is not the first to be interested in it. A large hotel complex was considered for a time before being abandoned.

“I’ve been thinking about the wine market, fashion market, several separate markets for years., explains Michel Ohayon. Wine tourism has hit the nail on the head. “ For his part, if the mayor of Libourne agrees that three years ago he would not have believed in such a hypothesis, he is full of praise for Mr. Ohayon now considered ” The man for the job “.

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This project which received the approval, ” unanimously “ of the entire municipal council, however, is not to the taste of the citizen collective Esog 2.0. He denounces “A project that sells our local and national heritage to investors to turn it into a commercial barnum that will not benefit the people of Libourne”. ” Perhaps [Philippe Buisson] does he think that the miracle of the rich Chinese who will consume luxury in the Libournese barracks will trickle down economically on the Libournais? “, ironically the collective.

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