Belgium aims to buy European Commission offices for 1 billion euros
The investment arm of the Belgian government wants to take over 23 obsolete buildings of the European Commission in Brussels, write De Tijd and L'Echo, based on sources involved in the talks.
The Belgian government and the European Commission have been negotiating for several months over a property deal worth around 1 billion euros. The Commission wants to get rid of most of the buildings it owns, representing 350,000 square metres of office space in prime locations in the Leopold district.
Because a deal is in the making between a European institution and its host country, the Commission does not have to organise a public tender. Nevertheless, the private sector will also play a role in the deal. The Belgian government's Federal Holding and Investment Company (SFPI-FPIM) will buy the buildings, but plans to renovate them with property developers. This will allow Belgium to recover part of the estimated acquisition price.
The sale should help the Commission achieve its ambitious environmental goals. It announced in 2021 that it would abandon half of its 50 office buildings in Brussels by 2030 due to growing homeworking, while greening the remaining offices. It is likely that the Commission will rent offices in some refurbished buildings, the papers report. Neither the SFPI-FPIM or the Commission have commented.
© BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE