Toulouse: “The neighborhood is totally dead,” protest traders from Montaudran
Through Maxence Dourlen
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“The dynamics in the neighborhood? It’s dead from dead! ” TO Montaudrana booming sector for many years toulouseConcern can be felt on the faces of some traders who are on the giant path. For many of them, without even anticipating the arrival of the 3rde Subway line promised for 2028, the situation is already critical…
“We were sold dreams! »
Driven by the presence of The Hall of Machinesthe Building B612 home to the Aerospace Valley competitive cluster and the Technological Research Institute (IRT), or the location of new businesses and in particular the UGC cinema (7 screens), the district obviously had all the weapons to become a major attraction.
“We were sold dreams! ‘ was annoyed from the start RolandOptician eyewear manufacturers in this large square hopelessly empty. “The area is in ruins, it doesn’t live up to its promises…”
There will finally be no Intermarché…
Reminiscing about these fallen dreams, the one who settled in the industry a few months ago thinks in particular of retirementintermarch. First of all, the supermarket near the cinema, in a Room of 3000 m2. Ultimately, this will not be the case since the franchisee has resigned.
“Altarea marketed this famous box. A contract was signed, some work started… And Intermarché left everyone at the last moment. They took a long time to resolve and indirectly cornered the community, retailers and the promoter. Everyone is working to find a quick fix. »
“This store was in market research, it was supposed to open last June… It changes a lot of things for us,” is sad Jean-Baptiste Esparseil, Director of the Bistro Regent. “No one wants to come! ’, the Vinum manager continues a few meters away.
“We’ve been told about the arrival of a supermarket for 2025, but do you think we’ll hold out until then? Very simple, the carrots are cooked for us! »
Events that bring the district to life
The presence of two cultural sites (La Halle des Machines and L’Envol des Pionniers) has given considerable energy to this new district of Montaudran. “The idea of giving concerts in La Halle des Machines on Fridays and Saturdays in the summer is a very good one,” says Jean-Baptiste Esparseil, director of the Bistro Régent. “As soon as we have the opportunity to set up an event that attracts people, we’ll do it,” the district mayor continued. Evidenced by the organization of the big show around the Long Ma machine last April, which attracted 80,000 spectators for a weekend. A big success.
Also popular is the La Halle carousel (see photo), recently installed near the shops. Almost 160,000 entries were recorded in the first two years of operation. “It’s a magical merry-go-round that will continue to attract people,” says Emilion Esnault.
An abandoned parking lot
Q Park’s question, parking spot which was to be shared with the medium-sized Intermarché store, also causes considerable tension despite efforts to attract dealers (three hours free if the user consumes in the neighborhood).
“It’s totally empty! It makes no sense … Tuesday I saw twenty cars inside when there are three floors,” observes one of the store managers. “The fact that it’s paid doesn’t help, it’s a certainty…”
“The biggest concern is parking. Customers tell us a lot about it… That’s the big downside. Some made it clear to us that they would not come back because of this. We can give tickets for 3 hours parking, but that doesn’t solve all the problems, especially for families who spend the whole day in the area. »
However, the town hall would like to soften these statements, since “so far there is an offer of around 1,000 parking spaces (Q-Park, P2 car park, La Halle des Machines car park, etc.) without private parking spaces” . “The use of these parking spaces is increasing,” continues Emilion Esnault. Various shop customers were offered 40,000 hours of parking, which is also not insignificant. »
A wild parking lot
A feeling shared by some residents, who complain about “increasingly difficult parking” on the streets of the sector. “We wonder if these parking lots are really full…”
In addition, it is not uncommon to observe “park wild”, on the lanes at the level of new buildings.
Who says expanding sector, says important work. This is evidently the case in Montaudran, where construction machinery, trucks and scaffolding are proliferating on both sides of the district.
“We know that this work is necessary, the town hall also does a good follow-up and does not let us down. But you have to admit that it’s a bit chaotic…” regrets one of the restaurateurs. “It’s none of our business because people don’t really know where to go when they’re in the area…”
“We try to limit the impact of the works as much as possible, especially in the summer. We do everything we can to make sure they aren’t too intrusive and visible, but it’s an expanding area, you have to live with it… We also organize meetings with the players in the neighborhood every month to discuss all these issues. »
Added to this is the start of feeling of insecurity, As one of the sales pros explains, “Our businesses are isolated… So inevitably more vulnerable. I was the victim of an attempted burglary which fortunately failed…”
“How are you going to sell something… to anyone?” »
In terms of the activity itself, some traders do not no more illusions a few hours later the passage of a bailiff. “If the flow doesn’t increase, I’m committed to it submit the balance sheet in a few months”, one of them is moved.
“The traders are in a bad way, even if everyone is doing their job very well… But how do you sell something… to anyone? “, continues the management of Vinum. “See the visitor numbers in July? Imagine the month of November…”
“If one trader lets go now, it’s hard to believe another will come to take his place! We don’t know where the neighborhood goes…”
On 1,000 covers offered The restaurateurs in the district would not serve every day only hundred for now.
Cinema closed in August
Another major player in the industry: the ugc cinema, Open since June 2, 2021. If compared to its Labège-based competitor Gaumont, the establishment offers a slightly different offer, notably with a good proportion of films in their original version.
But as some of our journalists have pointed out, screenings are regularly held in (very) small groups. The establishment contacted did not want to find out about the visit to the brand new cinema in Montaudran, but its summer closure between August 3rd and 23rd is already part of the answer… An establishment of this size very rarely closes doors, even temporarily.
New impetus in the next few weeks?
Obviously not everything is so black for the inhabitants and traders of Montaudran. This is evidenced by the recent arrival of “The Beer Club” at the very end of the giants’ slope. His manager also says he’s “pleased” with the first few days of opening as he hopes to bring momentum to the industry in the coming weeks. In any case, there is no shortage of ideas.
Always on the bright side: the district should welcome you bakery in a few weeks (early September?) and probably a restaurant specializing in that Citizens, not far from London Corner. The proximity to the P2 multi-storey car park with its 500 free parking spaces is also pleasing. “We live thanks to La Halle de la Machine,” assures Jean-Baptiste Esparseil, director of the Bistro Régent.
Another shop owner also wants to be optimistic about the future: “We know that the neighborhood will be livelier in a few years, but we have to admit that the situation is not easy …”
Currently poorly served by public transport, Montaudran is impatiently awaiting the arrival of a third subway line that will undoubtedly change the face of the district.
Better signage, greening project…
On the plus side, the community is pleased to have negotiated with Altarea to install a large sign visible from the ring road.
“We are in the preparatory phase. This large sign will be installed over the coming weeks to highlight the district’s activities. »
Another focus of the work: the Montaudran greening project.
“3,500 trees will eventually be planted in the area,” the neighborhood mayor continues. We have a greening plan for the route, which will be gradually implemented and made more attractive. It is a very mineral place that creates islands of heat in summer. There will be a plant band with a very wide bike path, a trail for the Minotaur. So that residents and tradespeople don’t have to worry, there are plans to green the town of Marcel Bouilloux-Lafont up to the B612, without forgetting the rest of the district. »
To the south of the zone, road access will continue with the completion of the final section of Avenue Bernard Maris.
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