Athletes’ Village Handed Over to Paris Olympics Organizers  

Paris — The organizers of the Paris Olympics took possession of the newly built athletes’ village on Thursday on schedule, reinforcing growing confidence that they will be ready for the Games.

At an inauguration ceremony in northern Paris, chief organizer Tony Estanguet received a symbolic key for the complex in front of VIPs including President Emmanuel Macron.

“It’s a demonstration that we have honored our commitments,” Macron told reporters, who told workers they should be “proud” of delivering the village “on time and in budget.”

Organisers will spend the next four months fitting out the village with more than 300,000 items of furniture and decoration ahead of the first arrivals by athletes from July 18.

The site comprises around 40 different low-rise tower blocks and will include a 24-hour restaurant, an alcohol-free bar and leisure area, as well as training facilities.

The French state has contributed 646 million euros ($700 million) in public money, with the remainder from France’s biggest real estate companies which have developed different areas of the 52-hectare site.

After the Olympics and Paralympics, a third of the 2,800 apartments will be sold off to private homeowners, a third will be used for public housing, and the rest will be for rent including for students.

Each building is different, with stark differences in facade design and color.

“We wanted architectural diversity which is a feature of European towns,” Nicolas Ferrand, head of the games infrastructure group Solideo, told Macron.

Seine-Saint-Denis is the poorest and most crime-ridden area of mainland France and is the focus of public investment for the Games.

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