The first tertiary centre that comes to mind when referring to Brussels is of course the European quarter. Located on the side east of the city, between the inner ring and the large ring, the quarter benefits from an exceptional situation and an excellent accessibility. Also known as the Leopold district, it is currently undergoing renovation in order to inject greater functional diversity and make it a true destination. On the Law project implementation programme: residential developments, 60,000 sq.m of shops and public facilities, 240,000 sq.m of new offices, traffic calming and the renovation of the Cinquantenaire and Leopold parks.
The largest tenants in this office district are the European Institutions who occupy approximately 50% (ca. 1.500.000 sq.m) of the office stock. The Belgian administrations occupy some 12% of office space. The other public organizations such as the Embassies, diplomatic representation to European Union, represent 7%. Consequently, more than 70% of office area in this district is occupied by the public sector. The private sector is mainly represented by the financial sector and the energy sector. Indeed, several major companies have established their head-office in this area like ING, Deutsche Bank, Axa Belgium, Banque Degroof, Fluxys….It’s also the main location for a large numbers of lobbyists close to European Institutions.
Another major economic centre of attraction is the Airport Business District. Considered as Belgium’s second-largest growth hub, it enjoys exceptional accessibility with direct connections to the EU and the rest of the world through the national airport, attracting international companies such as Deloitte, KPMG and Microsoft. The projects underway should enable development of the cargo area by 2030, as well as strengthen the economic added value of this district.
In one of the most prestigious avenues of Brussels, we find ourselves in the Louise district. The avenue is composed of a mix of high-standard residential buildings, office properties, hotels and retail. High street retail is situated around Place Stéphanie whilst many design and furniture shops, restaurants and retail banks are situated along Avenue Louise. The area is bordered on the one end by the Court of Justice, Boulevard de Waterloo and Avenue de la Toison d’Or, which house prestigious brands such as Tiffany & Co, Chanel, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Brussels’ Apple store. And on the other end, near Bois de la Cambre, by the so-called Billionaires’ Square, Brussels’ most expensive private street.
A few kilometres away near Reyers/Meiser, on the 20 hectares of the RTBF-VRT site, Mediapark is emerging. On the scheme: 380,000 sq.m of tertiary space and the creation of an ecosystem dedicated to media and creative industries. In the picture on the right, you see the new flagship building of this future media centre. The building is expected to be delivered by 2023.
The Northern district, situated around the Brussels North station, was shaped in the 1960s according to the Manhattan plan. This district represents one of the few districts in the center of Brussels with office buildings capable of accommodating occupiers requiring large floor plates and substantial space in one location. Emblematic of the district's restructuring, in the medium term the ZIN project will develop a high-quality multifunctional offer within an urban area that is open to the city: 75,000 sq.m of offices, accommodation, 16,000 sq.m dedicated to a hotel in The Standard chain, leisure facilities, hospitality businesses and shops.
The district is extremely popular amongst public services (EU institution, Belgian State, French Community, Flemish Region) which occupy a large share of the office stock. Other common occupiers include IT companies as well as financial institutions. The district is well-served by hotels and pubs, and lies at walking distance from the rue Neuve and from the City 2 Shopping Center, one of the main retail high streets and shopping centers areas in Brussels..
Finally, let us also remember that thanks to its multimodal port, Brussels is a major logistics hub. In January 2021, Port of Brussels management also announced a new €93.5 million management contract which will, among other things, enable the expansion of the port area (107 ha currently), via the acquisition of 40 ha on the Schaerbeek-Formation site. Apart from the desire to step up the port's sustainable side, the idea is also to ensure better integration in the heart of the city thanks to enhanced recreational facilities (cycle track, water sports centre, sports centre, etc.).
40,000people employed by European institutions in the BCR
2ndleading European city in terms of foreign language proficiency
25%of Belgian start-ups are located in Greater Brussels
A stimulating ecosystem for start-ups!
Every year, almost 11,000 companies are created in the Brussels-Capital Region. The city is particularly business-friendly with its incubators, clusters and Hub Brussels (the public business support agency).
In all, digital business in Brussels accounts for more than 2,000 active companies, 30,000 jobs and 7.6% of GDP. In 2017, a brand - BeDigital.Brussels - which brings together all the digital initiatives, and a plan called NextTech, were adopted.
Together with around 20 concrete measures (training, support, attendance at the major international events of the tech industry, etc.), NextTech aims to speed up the development of young ICT companies with a particular focus on virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.
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