Paris city council backs sale of Forum des Halles

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The Paris city council on Tuesday approved the sale of the Forum des Halles, a huge commercial complex in the center of the city, to Unibail-Rodamco, a private consortium, and insurance group Axa.

Anne Hidalgo of the Socialist Party, the council's deputy head of urban planning, described the sale as a "decisive step" in plans to renovate the facility.

The vote on the council was 82 in favor, 57 against, with six abstentions.

The mayor's office is planning a renovation of the aging Forum des Halles, one of the world's largest commercial centers, as a well as a suburban train station that serves it by 2016-2017.

The vote authorises the sale to the site's current operator, Unibail-Rodamco, for 238 million euros (320 million dollars).

The total investment needed for the project has been estimated at 802 million euros.

© 2010 AFP

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