New developments on the way
Following the noticeable upgrading of the Kievitplein during the period 2003 – 2005, with the construction of 8 high rise towers, of which half were taken up by Alcatel (40,000m2 surface area), building activity came to a halt in this district with its advantageous location close to Central Station and its TGV terminus. But this is now changing with the construction of the Kievit II project.
The Kievit II project zone is located alongside the railway. In the 2007 – 2008 period building regulations were set down in the Kievit II Regional Development Plan. This scheduled that three buildings could be constructed. A maximum surface area for each building is also stipulated. Each of the buildings can have a tower of a maximum height of 46 meters on the railway side, one meter lower than the Lindner-hotel on the Kievitplein. In view of the maximum surface area, the totality of the buildings will be unable to reach the maximum allowed height. The stipulations for Kievit II also require a mixed use character including at least 50% offices and 30% housing per building. All 250 parking spaces will be located underground. Ground floor areas (shops, cafés, recreational facilities, culture…) will be accessible to the public. Phase II of the construction had been scheduled to start in 2011 but did not actually get out of the starting blocks until the middle of 2013.
New home for Electrabel
Of the three construction areas in the Kievit II project zone, the 15,000 m² site on the corner of de Plantijn en Moretuslei and Van Immerseelstraat is the most attractive. It lies barely 400 meters from the entrance to the station. Currently rising out of the ground here is an 11-storey office tower, and a second tower which is a residential project with 34 apartments and a public ground floor. The tower will be the new home of Electrabel, the former EBES, which since 1958 has been located in a twelve-storey tower on the corner of Mechelsesteenweg and Lamorinièrestraat. The new office tower, being built to suit by developer Kaïros for its new occupant, achieves the maximum allowed height of 46 meters. The plans by Stéphane Beel Architects are for an ecologically exceptional project in which triple glazing will be fitted, along with the provision of heating from the earth via 148 meter deep bore holes. The office tower will then obtain BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification Other notable energy saving measures are values of E-and K-25. The office tower will be leased from Kaïros under an 18-year usufruct agreement. Delivery is scheduled for the beginning of 2016.
Housing and retail
The L.I.F.E. group has signed for ‘I Love Qui Vit’, the residential building with a commercial ground floor and 34 apartments, of which 4 duplex-penthouses. The office tower and ‘I Love Qui Vit’ with its 9 floors, share a common podium unit, which will accommodate among others 440 m² of commercial space and a company restaurant. The restaurant will also be available to local inhabitants. With the exception of the penthouses the L.I.F.E. group wishes to offer keenly priced residential accommodation in the city centre, ideal for the young and first-time residents. Each apartment has an underground parking space and a storage area available. There is the option of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with a liveable surface area ranging from 47 to 200 m².
The office tower and the apartment building on the corner of Van Immerseelstraat are set to be completed at virtually the same time. On the adjoining site, further along the Van Immerseelstraat and parallel with the railway embankment, a second duo of towers is set to be built. These involve 6,000 m² of office space and 6,000 m² of residential accommodation. This project is still at the preparatory stage, with marketing of the office space being started by Kairos.