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Belgium purchases 23 buildings from the European Commission for €900 million

Place Schuman credit COBE and BRUT
11:18 01/05/2024

The Belgian state has purchased 23 office buildings in the Schuman district from the European Commission, reports RTBF.

The hefty €900m acquisition by the nation’s sovereign weath fund SFPIM is part of the Brussels Region’s vision to transform the EU quarter from a drab ghost town to a lively and more green neighbourhood.

Created by SFPIM and Ethias, the Belgian Cityforward fund will convert 21 of these buildings into sustainable offices (70%), shops, public facilities and housing (30%). The aim is to ultimately double the number of families in the heart of the European district, making it attractive to not only office workers.

The total cost of the acquisition and transformation work is estimated at nearly €2 billion. Cityforward, managed by the Brussels-Antwerp company Whitewood, raised the necessary funds from various investors, including finance& and Ethias.

A key component of the project is the building of some 750 to 800 new apartments. It’s expected that the first new residents and office occupants will be able to move in from 2028.

“Thanks to this transformation, we are strengthening the position of our capital as the heart of Europe and responding to the strong demand for diversification and additional housing in the European district,” said Laurence Bovy, president of the board of directors of SFPIM.

This new acquisition will also allow the European Commission "to settle permanently in sustainable buildings using cutting-edge technology," added Philippe Lallemand, CEO of Ethias.

The plan to acquire the Commission buildings was revealed in the Brussels Region’s rebranding campaign for the EU quarter, launched in November last year. Under the slogan ‘Still alive after five’, its goal is to turn the area into a 24/7 vibrant and multicultural community that will boost visitors to the area.

Photo: Arhcitect plans for new Schuman roundabout ©COBE + BRUT

Written by The Bulletin