The mayor of Sallèles-d’Aude, France, said he was “flabbergasted” when developers of a gated community in the town suddenly marketed it to gay clientele, France 24 reports.
Yves Bastie says he had no idea he was agreeing to a gay community when he signed off on the project in March.
The managing director of Villages Group, Danny Silver, says the company decided to switch to marketing to gays and lesbians as a last-ditch effort to save the development.
“The real estate market in France is so bad right now, and getting the planning permission took such a long time, that we were on the verge of closing the project down completely,” he says. “We didn’t have any takers, and when we had the idea of marketing it in this way, we thought, Why not?”
Since changing the marketing strategy on the $325,000 homes, he says, he has been receiving thousands of emails from interested people every hour.
“The benefits are huge,” he says. “And now we have the planning permission signed and sealed, and with the huge amount of interest we’ve received in just two days, this project is definitely going ahead.”