StamEuropa building in Brussels to get a new and innovative dimension
“StamEuropa”, a building which remained vacant for 16 years, is now getting a new and innovative dimension. It will be turned into a place which will host workshops, conferences and cultural happenings with the aim of drawing people to Brussels’ European Quarter.
Ans Persoons, Brussels alderman for urban planning and public space, stated: “It has long been established that the European district is fairly monofunctional. This way, the city is trying to encourage owners who do not have a concrete plan for their building yet, or have to wait too long for certain renovation works, not to leave it empty. It could be anything, but we do want to try to encourage owners not to leave their buildings empty. We also think that an initiative like StamEuropa – a space for drinks, dialogues, and debates – really has its place here.”
The organisation aims to provide a space for different groups of people to meet to talk about the future of the neighbourhood, but also about the future of European democracy, “and what better place to do so than in the European Quarter”. reports Brussels Times.
Persoons explained that owners who hold vacant buildings pay a high vacancy tax to the city of Brussels, but a new agreement between the city and the PBA means that these taxes do not have to be paid for the floors that are in temporary use: “We hope that this will have a stimulating effect, and we do notice that more and more owners are open to such a temporary use. We definitely think that is a very positive development.”
Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close hopes that the success of StamEuropa will convince other owners to follow the lead: “This cooperation proves once again that the vacancy tax is a particularly effective incentive.”
Photo credit: Cabinet of Brussels alderman for urban planning Ans Persoons