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European Commission to take over offices of new tower The One

16:14 30/06/2020

The European Commission has signed an 18-year contract to use the offices in the new mixed-use building on Rue de la Loi known as ‘The One’.

The Commission has signed an agreement with real estate developer Atenor known as usufruct, meaning that it does not own the building but can make use of it for the period of the contract. It must maintain the building and pay the property taxes.

The 94-metre-high tower, near Maelbeek metro station, is split vertically into apartments and office space. There are 97 flats on one side and 30,000 square metres of office space on the other. The Commission has right of usufruct only in the office half of the building.

The One is an “emblematic and passive building, which fits perfectly into the Green Deal, the cornerstone of the European plan for sustainable recovery,” said Atenor in a statement.

Neighbourhood group furious

Not everyone sees it that way: The Leopold district’s neighbourhood committee is critical of the decision to tear down the building that stood in the spot before. “It will take 50 years before even the first atom of greenhouse gas is saved,” said the group in a statement.

Worse still, explains the group, the Brussels region approved the plan for the urban renewal of the EU quarter some seven years ago without doing an environmental impact study. That plan was in fact taken to court, and the Council of State struck it down. But before that happened, The One had already been built.

The region was ready with a new plan for the neighbourhood that included alterations based on liveability. Too little, too late, said the Leopold district committee. “The tower is thus an emblematic example of how the region circumvents the rule of law for the benefit of the major real estate players,” it said.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

Stand at the end of the Tervuren Avenue and look toward the Cinquantenaire. Should see through the arches and have a beautiful view of Brussels, right? Wrong! That ugly building destroying the whole view? Yes, it's The One!

Jul 1, 2020 15:02

Every time I see the disfigured view from Merode looking back to Brussels through the arch of the Cinquantenaire, I say to myself this must be one of the more egregious planning atrocities in Europe. How on earth did the authorities allow that to happen? Shame on you! And now the truth is out - they didn't even do an environmental impact study. Cancel your contract European Commission - it is an ugly eyesore that you are better keeping clear of.

Jul 1, 2020 19:08