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Iconic piece of California coast to be opened to tourists after Monaco billionaire who bought property for $8million made deal with state regulators

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A Monaco billionaire dubbed ‘The Octopus’ for his tightening grip on a historic California village has promised public access to a Big Sur landmark with one of the ‘best views in the world’.

Property magnate Patrice Pastor has spent $100 million buying more than a dozen iconic homes and locations in the picturesque village of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Some locals have been left ‘terrified’ at the power he now wields in the town and the prospect of being priced out of the homes and businesses they have owned for generations.

But he has won over state regulators with his promise to allow visits at the 2.5-acre outcrop occupied by the now-closed Rocky Point Restaurant 10 miles down the coast on Highway 1.

‘This coastline is one of the true treasures of California, with breathtaking and fabulously dramatic views,’ said Lisa Haage of the California Coastal Commission.

Billionaire property mogul Patrice Pastor has been dubbed an 'octopus' in his native Monaco and has 'terrified' residents of tiny Carmel-by-the-Sea with his ambitions for the town

Billionaire property mogul Patrice Pastor has been dubbed an ‘octopus’ in his native Monaco and has ‘terrified’ residents of tiny Carmel-by-the-Sea with his ambitions for the town

But he has offered public access to the stunning Rocky Point cliffs ten miles down the coast which has been off-limits since 2020 when the restaurant on the site was shuttered

But he has offered public access to the stunning Rocky Point cliffs ten miles down the coast which has been off-limits since 2020 when the restaurant on the site was shuttered 

‘We worked hard to craft a deal that would provide amenities for visitors and residents alike, including trails, picnic tables and even public parking and restrooms.’

The restaurant closed during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and was snapped up by Pastor for $8 million the following year through his property company Esperanza Carmel.

His plans to open a high-end 166-seat restaurant and 14-room hotel hit the rocks amid an ongoing wrangle with state regulators over infrastructure and environmental complaints.

But those have been waived as part of the new deal which would see Pastor open up the site, improve trail access and add bathrooms and parking space.

The fourth-generation property developer, who has a long-running feud with Monaco’s crown prince first visited the Carmel as a child when the landscape left an ‘indelible impression’ on him.

He bought his first property in the village in 2015 and his portfolio now includes the only existing ocean-front home by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright for which he paid $22 million in 2023.

Carmel has for decades been a seaside bolt hole for Hollywood greats and it famously elected Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood mayor in the 1980s.

Brad Pitt bought a $40 million home there in 2022 and other residents have included Michael Nesmith, Doris Day, Betty White and James Ellroy.

Pastor is known to have spent at least $100 million on properties in Carmel since 2015

Pastor is known to have spent at least $100 million on properties in Carmel since 2015

He bought a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Carmel for $22million in 2023 - the only ocean front home by the renowned architect

He bought a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Carmel for $22million in 2023 – the only ocean front home by the renowned architect 

The tycoon paid $13.9 million for the L¿Auberge Carmel Hotel on Monte Verde Street

The tycoon paid $13.9 million for the L’Auberge Carmel Hotel on Monte Verde Street 

The luxury Carmel Beach Hotel is one of the few within walking distance of the beach

The luxury Carmel Beach Hotel is one of the few within walking distance of the beach

But Eastwood’s former Hogs Head bar and the building it once housed are now part of the Pastor empire along with more than a dozen other iconic properties.

Pastor’s latest purchase was the historic $7.5million La Rambla building made up of two apartments and two commercial spaces.

The white villa-style property has a large sunny courtyard with a water feature.

Pastor is also currently running three construction projects in the area, according to his property company’s website.

His largest project is the Ulrika Plaza new build development, which will be a 42,000 square foot mixed-use, retail and residential space.

The site also lists the JB Pastor Project which will be a 30,000 square foot mixed-use, retail and residential.

And he owns notable buildings including L’Auberge Carmel Hotel, and the Brown-Spaulding Building.

But one anonymous third-generation local in the village of 3,200 people told SFGate ‘people are terrified’ that they are ‘handing over our town to one person who’s doing what he wants to do’.

‘What’s going to happen as he spends so much money on the building, the property tax goes up and the rents go up and the only people who can afford it are chain stores?’ they demanded.

‘What’s going to happen to our mom-and-pop shops? What’s going to happen to our local feel?’

Prince Albert Of Monaco, seen at his 2011 wedding to Princess Charlene has been involved in a bitter public feud with the Monégasque mogul since 2021

Prince Albert Of Monaco, seen at his 2011 wedding to Princess Charlene has been involved in a bitter public feud with the Monégasque mogul since 2021 

Pastor (left) and his wife (second left) in 2015 at the Monaco Foundation dinner in London with Marc Lecourt and his wife

Pastor (left) and his wife (second left) in 2015 at the Monaco Foundation dinner in London with Marc Lecourt and his wife

The Rocky Point restaurant closed down in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Rocky Point restaurant closed down in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic  

The site can only be glimpsed at the moment by the millions of drivers  on Highway 1

The site can only be glimpsed at the moment by the millions of drivers  on Highway 1

Pastor has promised to open up the site, improve trail access, and add bathrooms and parking space in a deal with the California Coastal Commission

Pastor has promised to open up the site, improve trail access, and add bathrooms and parking space in a deal with the California Coastal Commission

They said that the small town is now split into four camps – those who are too afraid to speak up because they are financially tied to Pastor, those who don’t speak up because they want to be financially tied to Pastor, those who do speak up and finally new residents who are ‘blissfully unaware’.

Police were called after a fist-fight broke out between a small business owner and a village administrator in October after Pastor demanded permission to override planning laws so he could move a historic wall.

But Pastor insisted he ‘love the town’, and wants ‘to protect its unique history and character’, when he spoke to Dailymail.com in February.

‘Naturally we can understand how someone new in town might make people nervous, especially as we prefer to keep a lower profile,’ he added.

‘But I cannot understand why someone would be so worried about our investment in Carmel.

‘We have been very clear from our first investment that we love the town, and we want to protect its unique history and character.

‘This is why we are focused on purchasing the more beautiful buildings in town like La Rambla.’

His company’s website is clear about the potential for his cliffside restaurant.

‘Originally constructed in 1951, located on Highway 1 between Carmel and Big Sur, Rocky Point enjoys one of the best views in the world,’ it boasts.

And he has his supporters in the village including Karyl Hall, who helped form the Carmel Preservation Association.

‘We are the luckiest people in the world to have him come in,’ she told the Carmel Pine Cone.

‘He cares about Carmel and cares that Carmel keep its character.

‘He has the money to come in and do what nobody else can do.’

His battle with Monaco’s Prince Albert has been raging since 2021 when an email from the prince’s

press advisor was shared on an anonymous website, LesDossiersDuRocher.com, which published incriminating evidence about Monaco’s royal family.

‘That octopus Pastor is everywhere! He has gotten his hooks into Monaco. He has gone mad, he has no limits!’ the email claimed.

Le Monde reported at the time: ‘This supposed ‘octopus’ appears to be multi-billionaire Patrice Pastor, a 49-year-old who for decades constructed and rented buildings and apartments for small fortunes.

‘Proud and with no frills, he is an unmistakable character in Monaco. ‘I’m not a nice guy,’ he said. ‘I’m free, independent and I have money, so… Everything in the ‘Dossiers du Rocher’ is true, and everyone knows it! The truth is that I irritate them’.’

The most recent property bought by Pastor is the La Rambla, a mixed residential and commercial property which he snapped up for $7.5 million in January

The most recent property bought by Pastor is the La Rambla, a mixed residential and commercial property which he snapped up for $7.5 million in January 

The Eastwood Building once once owned by movie star Clint Eastwood and rumored to be the reason he ran for Mayor of Carmel in 1986

The Eastwood Building once once owned by movie star Clint Eastwood and rumored to be the reason he ran for Mayor of Carmel in 1986

The JB Pastor project is a 30,000 square foot mixed-use, retail and residential, new build development - currently in the planning stage

The JB Pastor project is a 30,000 square foot mixed-use, retail and residential, new build development – currently in the planning stage

The Ulrika Plaza project is a 38,000 square foot mixed-use, retail and residential, new build development

The Ulrika Plaza project is a 38,000 square foot mixed-use, retail and residential, new build development 

Earlier this year some Carmel residents took a trip to see at the family’s work in Monaco where his father Victor Pastor was for decades ‘essentially the developer-in-chief for the entire principality’.

One came back describing it as looking like a ‘concrete beehive’.

‘Now is the time to stand up,’ he added.

‘If not now, then we’re going to look and feel incredibly different in five years.’



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