SAU buys most of the slaughterhouses site and will coordinate its development
The slaughterhouses site alongside the Canal in Anderlecht is of strategic importance for the Brussels-Capital Region in view of its location, its size (some 9 hectares), its activities and its historical heritage.
The Region, the municipality of Anderlecht, its historical owner, and Abattoir s.a., its economic operator, have shared converging ambitions regarding its development for the past ten years. However, as Gilles Delforge, the director of the Urban Development Corporation (SAU), explains, ‘A new approach to land ownership and additional expertise were necessary in order to oversee the achievement of these ambitions and steer some of them. The SAU has been active in the Canal Area since 2016, so it has established excellent contacts with both the municipal authorities and Abattoir s.a. It also has experience in the development of major urban projects and a great variety of regional facilities. The SAU therefore proposed to buy most of the site and take on the role of coordinating its development, including creating public housing and a swimming pool and improving and opening up the public spaces. A consensus over this was very quickly reached between the partners.’
As Gilles Delforge explains, ‘After the agreements in principle had been reached between the different parties over the months, an important concrete step was taken on 24 March, when Anderlecht municipal council approved the sale to the SAU of the part of the site owned by the municipality, except for the slaughterhouses’ large historic hall, of which Anderlecht remains the owner. In addition, Abattoir s.a. will transfer to the SAU ownership of land by the Canal where the construction of public housing and other public programmes are planned, as well as the development of an esplanade between the Delacroix metro and the Erasmus Hogeschool.’ Abattoir s.a. remains the owner of a plot of land on Chaussée de Mons, on which FoodMet is located. The company will also have its long-term lease extended until 2088, allowing it to develop its high-quality economic activities on the slaughterhouses site and reinforce this industrial and commercial agri-food centre.
‘The long-term continuity of public land control at regional level is thus assured,’ Gilles Delforge emphasises. ‘But the SAU will of course coordinate the development of the site in consultation with Abattoir s.a. and the municipality.’ The extension of its long-term lease will in particular enable Abattoir s.a. to launch the construction of the Manufakture building (meat-cutting workshops, food production activities, public parking, etc.), with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). A public swimming pool will be created on Manufakture’s roof: the Region has earmarked a budget to reinforce the building’s structure for this purpose, and the SAU has been tasked with defining the most suitable arrangements for constructing and operating this sports facility.
Minister-President Rudi Vervoort and Secretary of State for Urban Development Pascal Smet recently welcomed this new direction for the slaughterhouses.