01 Oct '16

Turning offices into homes

door Tina Deneyer
More than 30% ofoffice buildings in a radius of 12 km around Brussels is empty. That works out at nearly half a million square meters ofoffice space. The situation is particularly dire in Zaventem, where 75% of all Rand offices are established. The vacancy rate there is about 40%.

It seems nothing short of scandalous for built areas to remain empty in a region like the Vlaamse Rand, where land is so scarce. Large-scale renovation projects have been undertaken in Brussels in recent years but few attempts have been made in the Vlaamse Rand to emulate these initiatives.

Converting office buildings into accommodation units is not as easy as it sounds because in the Rand these buildings are often located close to motorways, away from the municipal centres, so they are not necessarily the most attractive places to live in.

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