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Vacant Flagey office to be transformed into community centre

16:27 14/08/2019

The municipality of Ixelles has given a local non-profit money and the green light to transform a vacant building office into a temporary meeting place for the neighbourhood’s young and old.

Communa, a non-profit aimed at combating vacancy, plan to open a temporary, non-profit bar and to organise workshops for elderly locals in the former offices of the BinHôme housing association, currently located next to Librairie Flagey.

The bar will be situated on the building’s ground floor. The second floor will likely be used as office space by both Communa and other non-profits. The remaining floors of the building are currently taken up by social housing units occupied by mostly older residents.

Communa project coordinator Sâm Rosenzweig told Bruzz that they want to involve those older residents in their decision-making process for the temporary destination of the building’s first two floors.

“We might for instance organise workshops focused on administration or IT,” Rosenzweig said. “Last week, we met with elderly residents to listen to their wishes. Homework schools for children, garden workshops and sharing meals together were among the ideas mentioned.”

The municipality of Ixelles has allocated €60,000 for the project.

Communa staff will begin works in the building in the coming months to ensure the building meets the relevant safety norms before the temporary bar opens in October. The project is expected to run until December 2020.

Photo courtesy Communa

Written by Linda A. Thompson