One of the most ambitious ‘new district’ projects is taking place in the relatively small Walloon town of Ath. The site of ‘La sucrerie’ has considerable industrial history, (as its name suggests) pointed out, and is located just on the edge of the town centre. Some of the previous industrial buildings are being renovated to new use, and there is a considerable amount of new building; one of the major factors for success in this projectiles in the construction of a new crossing over the canal, directly linking La Sucrerie to Ath town centre and, importantly, to the railway station. This is strategic because Brussels Midi station is reached in only 35 minutes. Remaining with mobility, the Walloon ‘Ravel’ cycling route also passes through the project. Priority within the site will be given to pedestrians and cyclists, and cars will not be able to come into the development.
For Atenor, interest in developing a project such as this depends on a number of criteria, including location close to a city centre, sufficient inhabited density, mixed use and the ability to harmonize with the immediate surroundings.
Once completed (works start on the principal phase in early 2015 and are scheduled to last for a total of around five years, with deliveries starting in the spring of 2016), La Sucrerie will offer a number of functions: 167 apartments, four shopping zones, a crèche and a number of public areas including a central square. The layout of the public areas is designed to encourage fluidity and social cohesion.