Brussels Victoria Tower fully pre-let by WPP and the hotel group Ennismore

OFFICES
Tim Harrup

Just on the other side of the railway tracks from the North District (the ‘Botanic Tower’ side) another major building has attracted tenants before being completely renovated. Located just opposite the Botanic Tower and alongside the Botanical Gardens themselves, the Victoria Tower is currently undergoing this renovation. Previously occupied at various times by IBM and then the Federal Police department, the tower located on Square Victoria Regina at Saint-Josse was acquired by Santander Bank in 2019 before subsequently coming into the hands of Downtown Real Estate and Baltissimmo (Baltisse group).

The new affectation of the Victoria Tower will see what is described as a vertical mixed use project. Architects ‘51N4E Architects’ have designed a complex which will accommodate offices, a hotel and co-working spaces.

Where the offices are concerned, the total of 8,500 m² has already been fully let to international marketing and communication group WPP. The company has signed a long term lease for the space and intends to bring together all of its services – currently spread throughout Brussels – in order to adopt a New Way of Working strategy.

The hotel will be operated by the Ennismore group, and will be a 198-room unit under the name of The Hoxton. This is described as a boutique hotel with a rooftop bar and 22nd floor restaurant. It is not only the prospect of opening a hotel which has attracted Ennismore, however, as this company will also operate the co-working area. This is to be called ‘Working From’ (a new Ennismore brand) and will extend to some 5,500 m², offering up to 700 workstations.

This mixing of hotel and flexible working areas is a relatively new phenomenon, but clearly appeals to workers in the new ‘remote’ era. Alexander Steyns of Downtown Real Estate explains his client’s thinking (as quoted by ‘L’Echo’): “Ennismore has always located in urban districts which they have been able to re-stimulate thanks to their innovative and integrated approach. In the City of London, for example, they were totally unknown before the arrival of The Hoxton in Shoreditch”.

This section of the North District is fast becoming a major part of the overall business zone – a business zone set to be substantially redeveloped into mixed use, in line with the Region’s policy. As previously mentioned, Botanic Building, developed by (at the time) Fortis Real Estate, set the train in motion. Silver Tower (AG Real Estate > Ghelamco) provides another major piece of the jigsaw, and now the Victoria Tower joins them. All three are located in a small parcel of land and all will benefit from the existence of the rest of the district and from the upgrading of the tunnel under the railway tracks which leads to the Place Rogier.

Read more in L'écho Report [ La tour Victoria rénovée est entièrement pré-louée ] >>