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Work starts on the Port’s Construction Village

 - ©Mpro

2016-04-27 – Work on the future Port of Brussels Construction Village was officially launched on Wednesday by the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region and the Chairman of the Port.

Construction Village is one of the most important projects to have been developed by the Port of Brussels. It involves the construction of a complex of warehouses to be used for the building materials trade on the left bank of the Vergote Dock, alongside Avenue du Port. These new buildings will also make it possible to relocate the wholesale businesses currently situated at the Béco Dock, near Place Sainctelette, where the Brussels-Capital Region is planning to develop a regional park and construct the Picard footbridge.

The new complex will be home to the company Mpro (a subsidiary of the Irish Grafton Group plc), already present at Vergote Dock, which will leave its premises at Béco Dock in order to bring together its activities in the Port of Brussels on a single site. Mpro is the successor to the company V. Ackermans, which was established in Brussels in 1813.

This project is one of the pilot projects of the Canal Plan, run by the Brussels-Capital Region in close cooperation with the Port of Brussels, the aim of which is to increase both the density and the diversity of activity in the Canal Area, and to promote better urban integration.

The plans drawn up by the architectural firm TETRA involve the creation of a multifunctional, modular space combining storage, showrooms and offices on a site with a total area of 25,000 m², including 7,000 m² of sustainable warehouses. The buildings will be integrated into their environment, and openings onto the Canal will be developed to ensure improved urban integration.

The Port of Brussels is planning for an increase in waterway traffic of 210,000 tons per year, as a result of the construction of an urban transhipment centre, especially for building materials, which will complement the project. This desire to promote the use of the waterways – the most environmentally friendly mode of transport – was also specified for the public works contract awarded to the company Cordeel, which will take care of all transport to and from the site by waterway. This is a first in the Brussels-Capital Region.

The overall cost of the project is nearly 8.5 million euros, of which 7.9 million will be financed by the Port of Brussels and 600,000 euros by Grafton Group plc. The basic weatherproof structure of the three new buildings will be delivered to Mpro in April 2017. The new complex is expected to open in September 2017, after Mpro has completed the interior work on the buildings.

The Minister-President is delighted at the daily demonstrations that the Canal Plan has entered the project implementation phase. Following the announcement of the Avenue du Port redevelopment project, and the day after the opening of Greenbizz, the start of work on Construction Village represents a further step forward in the redeployment of this area, in a neighbourhood which will also feature dwellings on the Tour & Taxis site and, of course, the future museum of modern and contemporary art.

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