A number of city centre office take-up transactions have led broker JLL to question whether supply in the city can respond to demand.
Where transactions are concerned, the Belgian National Bank has taken up some 6,200 m² in the former Petercam headquarters alongside the Saint Michel and Sainte Gudule cathedral. This follows 9,200 m² taken up by Brussels public transport company STIB in the former Belgolaise building on the Cantersteen, also during the second quarter of this year.
The ‘Pentagon’ zone of Brussels, JLL points out, achieved a historic high in terms of take-up last year, with some 140,000 m² finding new occupants, and five transactions of 10,000 m² or over, three of which were 30,000 m² or more. All buildings of 5,000 m² in the zone find new takers very rapidly.
Where the current situation is concerned, JLL points out that only four buildings of 5,000 m² or more which were constructed in the last 15 years remain available, for a total of only 28,000 m². These are the Alhambra building alongside Place De Brouckère, Boulevard du Régent 35 and 45 close to the Royal Park, and Rue des Ursulines 2, a little below the Sablon.
And in terms of future projects, the zone is set to see the arrival of the ‘Spectrum’ (16,000 m², Botanical Gardens area) and Rue de Brederode 2 (7,400 m², Porte de Namur/Sablon) buildings in 2018, followed by ‘Tweed’ (15,000 m², Rue aux Laines 70, Palais de Justice) in 2019 and the ‘De Brouckère’ building (40,000 m²) in 2020.
Finally, JLL says that there are still opportunities for renovation in the area, but as it is largely classified/protected, it will be difficult to find individual buildings with space to satisfy high surface area demand.