collective live+work spaces
for people going places with purpose

Sainte Colombe—16 Grand Rue
property details
for a Hub House co-operative coliving project

#218 🏅69%  SOLD • €21k • typical • village • 650m² mini-hub • haphazard buildings in good area
📍MapAdvert #1
southern France — near Mirepoix, Foix, Limoux, (Carcassonne)
☃️2–10–18°☀️9☁️10 • 🍂14–26°☀️8☁️9
DODGY  🔨 effort
DODGY  🚌 transport
DODGY  ✈️ access
OKAY  🛒 shops
OKAY  🏙 towns
GOOD  🧗 activities
GOOD  ☀️ climate
GOOD  ⛰️ nature
GOOD  🌷 garden
GOOD  🏠 building
OKAY  ⛲️ hood
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Environment ✧ rolling hills, partly agricultural at base of mountains; paths on doorstep

Services ✧ minimarket, pizza; bakery/cafe 15mins bike; town 45mins bike/15mins drive

Access ✧ bus 10mins pickup; stations 40mins, +1h10 Toulouse, 6h15 Paris €35 or overnight

Notes ✧ despite the somewhat low score there are a number of appealing factors: decently rural (variation for those of us metrotards) yet not dead (mix of expats and locals with corresponding restos and cafes sevricing them), large (can accommodate enough people and programs to be reasonably dynamic), cheap but partly usable (can be expanded and improved as funds permit), seperate courtyard and garden, reasonably interesting landscape with better features within driving distance
this location is very quiet and rural with pretty villages and a few cafés/restos, the lovely little town of Mirepoix at 25mins drive, and Limoux or Foix at 40mins, but zero access to cosmopolitan life thus would be within, however with its capacity once completed this property would support a fair bit of dynamism (including a residency program), though there would be works disruption during the first years
at the base of the pyrenees, not far from several cathar castles; lots of good hiking, lake 15mins bike, sailing/kayak/sup 15mins drive, horse riding, paragliding launch site; lakes are good for swimming and likely river spots; SUP would be possible with own boards
✦ it's worth noting that the lake has suffered due to droughts as its actually an agricultural resevoir, however there is a plan to reirection part of another stream to supplement its supply and this seems likely given the tourism it brings
the village has a minimart and pizzeira
✦ there used to be a good pub which is for sale that could conceivably reopen (450m2, 220k)
✦ there's a good resto 10mins bike, and some cafes 20mins; a bit more choice including a pub, in the little town 15mins drive
✦ in season (may–sept) there's a nice snack place at the edge of the lake (20mins bike), and another that also hosts music events (live/DJ) at an old station (30mins bike)
there's a tennis court and a large green (badmintonisbee anyone?)
✦ an old railway greenway of 80km passes connecting with the two towns (1h bike) plus the Monsegur ruins, and nearby villages for easy exploring by bike, two having a brewery (15mins)
✦ nearest skiing 45mins drive
✦ fair winters, low mean at 10° but hot days of 18° with 8 days sun
✦ there's a yoga retreat a short walk away
✦ village/bus 20mins bike on greenway or town/bus 45mins by bike on greenway
from the door, a 30min stroll along track and greenway; several 1h30 circuits, one along river and hill on path and track from door, and its an hour to the top of the ridge (+300m) half through woods
✦ lots of paths for moderately challenging biking, with a good number of official waymarked routes around Chalabre one having 1000m+ ascent which is fairly easily acheived all around; but 1h on trails to more interesting terrain, or 30mins drive for dropoff at the base of mountains; or 3 long 3h+ ride will get one up to 1600m with a entirely downhill return (partly road)
access is not great but arguably a bit of fun and pickups are possible in just 10mins drive from two routes thus the overhead is not high (versus having to drive for over an hour just to collect one person), even if journeys are a bit labourious:
✦ from Toulouse (airport and mainline for Paris at 4h30), train to Foix (1h10) + bus to Lavelanet (40mins, last 6:30pm); also possible via Pamiers (train 1h; bus 1h, last 8:20pm which is unusually good)
✦ from Carcassonne (airport and mainline for Barcelona at 3h with a change), train to Limoux (25mins) + bus to Chalabre (40mins, only two daily 12:30 and 5:30pm)
✦ pickups from the stations would be rare given the driving time but would be coordinated with market days and outings
✦ a runabout (e.g. 2CV) would be made available in addition to a minivan, nonetheless transport does not rate as bad (i.e. non existent) because it's possible to reach a bus by bike/scooter and thus a town independently, however it's utility is poor being only morning or afternoon from Chalabre (20mins) but quite decent from Laroque (30mins/less with electric bike/scooter) where there's a more regular bus to Mirepoix in 15mins (last 9pm) and Pamiers, which even if one has to ride a bit opens up the possibility of even the evening out
very large 800m2 plot
✦ 100m2 courtyard and 300m2 isolated garden (9m wide)
✦ four buildings: 1st 3 floors of 85m2 plus attic (3 windows; 6m across; rear is half-timbered and needs all windows replacing ASAP); 2nd adjacent 2 floors of 70m2 plus attic (2 windows, 5m across, has unused beams at mid height in attic but could probably be removed), both back onto courtyard; 3rd at the back between the courtyard and garden having 3-floors of 65m2 (5.5m across) requires significant works including a new roof, floor repairs, and some wall/lintel repairs; 4th a side annexe (3 floors and attic of 25m2 with morning sun and new roof, plus another bit only 1.8m deep but suitable as a callroom, or better rebuilt as a passage connecting the rear building)
✦ there's a single neighbour's 1st floor window onto the courtyard
✦ despite the significant scope of work it could be partly usable with the main building roofs okay and some rooms in acceptable condition
due to narrow buildings the layout would be a bit awkward requiring creativity however the end result would have a lot of character and variety of spaces (i.e. both quiet and lively for lounge, work and outdoors)
✦ the courtyard would have a large orangery/greenhouse acting as a dining area
✦ without garden access from the road, foot traffic and bikes would have to travel through one of the common spaces, then down steps, however rear access might be negotiated along the edge of a field
the rear building could potentially have a couple of micro studios
✦ directly opposite is a 170m2 footprint abandonded building (part 2 floors, part 3, plus large attic, for at least 450m2), and could be converted to independent studios with ground gallery spaces
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