See Inside: A Historic Mansion for sale in Béziers

See Inside: A Historic Mansion for sale in Béziers

In one family for generations, this elegant property has been both a commercial building and a grand residence, discovers Karen Tait…

It’s hard to believe that this beautiful property was once an industrial building used in the textile trade. In the same family for generations, and now a listed monument historique, the building dates from 1838, when the maison de fabrique was used as both a factory and for living space.

In 1870, after a fire destroyed the building, it was rebuilt, and then some 22 years later, the family hired a renowned local architect to turn it into a maison de maître. At this time, commercial activities were limited to wool and cloth storage on the top floor.

By 1927 demand had fallen, partly due to competition from Australian wool, and the building was no longer used for business. In 1981, the family decided to create rental units on the second and third floors. Today, the property offers 32 bedrooms divided between 11 apartments of varying sizes.

Photo: Karen Tait

Since 1975, the owner has painstakingly restored the building to its 19th-century splendour, spending an estimated €3m on the works. Spread over the ground and first floor, the main apartment of 500m² is occupied by the owner, and is where you’ll find the most impressive of the period features. A grand entrance and staircase lead to large reception rooms with beautiful fireplaces, original floors, fabric wall coverings and high moulded ceilings.

The apartment opens onto the garden with its large sunny terrace, covered terrace, hundred-year-old trees and access to a riverside path. There’s also an orangery, garage and cellar.

The 10 rental apartments all have their own separate access via the rear courtyard, with a staircase and lift. As there’s only one owner, the building is not run as a copropriété, unlike most buildings with multiple apartments. The rental income is currently about €60,000pa. A storage space on the ground floor has been kept empty but could be converted into a large reception room.

Photo: Karen Tait

Alongside the main building, a further three-bedroom house has been used by visiting family and friends. Dating from the 16th century, it has a wonderful vaulted ceiling, private garden and pool.

In the heart of a vibrant town, within walking distance of all amenities, 45 minutes from the coast, and within an hour of Montpellier and Béziers airports, the property offers various business options for the future (the new owner would need to honour current rental agreements). As a listed building, it’s eligible for government grants for restoration work and these costs can also be offset against French income tax.

Naturally, there are limitations on making changes to the protected parts of the building but continuing the preservation of this wonderful architectural heritage is a responsibility that any new owner would surely be honoured to take on.

The property is for sale at €1,740,000 with AB Real Estate.

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Lead photo credit : Photo: Karen Tait

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