NY Times, Aug. 9, 2014, By Liz Alderman
One recent sunny morning, Cédric Naudon, a wealthy French entrepreneur with a taste for fine food, walked down a quiet street in a neighborhood of Paris known as the Haut Marais and gestured toward a phalanx of shuttered storefronts as the sound of power drills pierced the air.
“This is where the butcher’s shop will go,” said Mr. Naudon, peering inside a half-finished space where sawdust coated the floor. “It’s going to be totally designed, with a library so people can think about the meat,” he said. “Over there will be the cheesemonger, where the cheese will be hidden in designer drawers and taken out and explained.”
He pointed to other outlets destined for an organic bakery, an oyster bar, a fishmonger, ethnic restaurants and a coterie of neighborhood mainstays. “It’s empty now,” said Mr. Naudon, looking around the block, which seemed to be entirely under renovation. “But when all this opens, it will be completely unique.”
As a wave of gentrification sweeps through Paris, Mr. Naudon has taken the phenomenon to a new level. An enigmatic man who says he made a fortune in real estate and finance in New York and Paris, he has snapped up about half a neighborhood north of the Marais, one of the city’s trendiest districts, with plans to restyle it into a sleek epicurean village called La Jeune Rue, or Young Street, dedicated to farm-fresh gastronomy and the culture of chic. Read more.