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USA cancels purchase option on Souverain 25

Image: wikimedia
Image: wikimedia

It has been announced that what was set to be one of the largest real estate transactions in Belgium over recent years, will not now take place. The United States has decided not to buy the former Axa premises on the Boulevard du Souverain (still remembered by some as the ‘Royal Belge’) to house its embassy.

The decision not to go ahead lies in the listing of the building by the Monuments and Sites Commission, to prevent its demolition. Quoted by Le Soir newspaper, Brussels Region Minister-President Rudi Vervoort indicated that the stipulations of this listing allowed for some flexibility, doubtless with the American security requirements in mind: “This listing allows for a certain flexibility with regard to the necessary modifications to the building, while preserving the major architectural lines such as the facades, the functionality and the quality of the interior space, along with the way the building is perfectly integrated into an exceptional setting”.

However, it is believed that the United States wished to demolish the mid 60’s edifice in order to build a made to measure embassy which would respond to their strict demands in terms of security. The USA has therefore withdrawn the purchase option it had with building owner Cofinimmo, which will have to find a new taker. Cofinimmo will be able, however, to demolish the smaller building on the site, which is not listed. Le Soir reports that it will replace these with four smaller buildings accommodating a little over 200 residential units.
Tim Harrup
04-09-2018


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