Belgium offers to buy EU real estate worth €1bln

Belgian government and the European Commission have been discussing a real estate purchase worth €1 billion for months, as a way to revive the European quarter in Brussels, L’Echo reported on Thursday.

The Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company (SFPI-FPIM) intends to buy 23 old buildings in Brussels, meanwhile, the European Commission wants to sell most of its Brussels real estate portfolio consisting of 350,000 m2 of office buildings in Leopold.

The European Commission is set to leave half of its Brussels offices by 2030 as remote working has been increasing, as well as its need to make its offices greener.

The decision comes in light of the European Green Deal, which mandates a 55 percent reduction of CO2 emissions, and the Commission will be keeping its headquarters in Berlaymont.

The European Commission is relocating some of its offices to the Brussels North Quarter by the end of this year in order to reach its environmental goals, but was met with unhappy reactions from the staff.

SFPI-FPIM will be acquiring the buildings and assign them to real estate developers for renovations, in a way to regain the €1 billion purchase.

Brussels have been working on reorganizing the European quarter, as a way to diversify its activities and residents, the Belgian authorities plan on having more residential, commercial establishments and social housing.

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