12/13/2012 03:32 EST | Updated 12/13/2012 03:35 EST

Pauline Marois' House Sale Hits A Snag (PHOTOS)


Pauline Marois has run into a snag with the sale of the opulent house she owns with her husband.

Known as La Closerie, the 12,000 square foot, seven bedroom mansion on Île Bizard near Montreal was sold earlier this year by the Quebec Premier and her husband Claude Blanchet for $6,980,000. But the buyer, European real estate tycoon Patrice Rochemont, cannot take possession of the property due to a Quebec law regulating the sale of agricultural land, according to La Presse.


The law states that agricultural land cannot be owned by non-residents and the owner must live on the land for at least six months of the year, according to The National Post. The rules were introduced during the government of René Lévesque, the very man who founded Marois' Parti Québécois.

This isn't the first time the estate's agricultural status has made headlines.

In 2007, the Montreal Gazette published a story about how the home was built on agricultural land owned by the government. The Gazette also reported that Blanchet paid money to a man whose affidavit was instrumental in getting the land rezoned so that the custom home could be built.

Marois and her husband sued the newspaper for defamation, asking for $2 million in damages. The case was settled out of court in March of 2011, according to Cités Nouvelles.

Marois and her husband stopped living in the home when it originally went on the market in 2009, according to The Gazette, choosing to live in the Premier's riding of Charlevoix instead.

In November, La Presse reported that Marois and Blanchet are moving ahead with the purchase of a luxurious $3 million condo at the St. Regis in Old Montreal.

Those plans may depend on whether the man who wants to buy La Closerie obtains residency in Quebec. According to La Presse, Rochemont is attempting to accelerate the process by applying via Quebec's immigrant investor program, which requires the applicant to place a large investment in Quebec and have a net worth of more than $1.4 million.

The mysterious buyer, who La Presse reports is extremely private, applied to the program in November 2011 and will likely learn if he has been accepted in early 2013.


Pauline Marois' Former Castle