A group of councils in and around Paris have launched a public-private partnership tender for companies interested in building a €2bn "City of Gastronomy" that would be "the centre of French culinary culture and the art of the table".
They envisage a complex covering 10.4ha next to the site of a wholesale food market in the capital’s southern suburbs.
The groups have formed the Paris-Rungis Gastronomy City Association to take the project forward. It first announced the plan in March, at the MIPIM real estate convention in Cannes, when it set the end of 2018 as the deadline for choosing a construction and investment consortium.
At that time, the complex of exhibition centres, kitchens, offices and meeting rooms was expected to cover about 4.3ha, but now the tender envisages a complex covering 10.4ha.
About a third of the site will be devoted to an exhibition and innovation centre, about a third to meeting rooms, kitchens and workshops and a third to food and kitchen-related shops, stalls and restaurants.
Le Marché d’IntérÃªt National de Rungis is said to be the largest food market in the world (Antoaneata/Creative Commons)
When the scheme was unveiled, Anne Pétillot, the director of the Gastronomy City Association, commented: "The Cité de la Gastronomie Paris-Rungis and its neighbourhood will become the centre of French culinary culture and the art of the table by becoming a place of discoveries, resources, training and applied research for professionals and the public."
The bodies involved include the cities of Chevilly-Larue, Orly, Rungis, Thiais, Paris, the Val-de-Marne department and the Ile-de-France region.
They are looking for a concessionaire willing to provide the finance, design, construction and commercial operation of the gastronomic city, as well as adjacent hotels and student hostels. They have set a deadline of 26 November for responses. The project itself must be complete in time for the Paris Olympics in July 2024.
Top image: At table in Paris (Â© Michele Kemper/Dreamstime)