Finding its central Brussels locations too cramped, the United States embassy has decided that it’s time to move out. After surveying sites across Brussels, especially in Watermael-Boitsfort and near la Royale, the embassy has settled on the site of the former ING Bank building in Etterbeek on Cours Saint-Michel street, Belgian television channel LN24 reports.
The new embassy project will be colossal. The US intends to move all three of its diplomatic representations in Brussels into the new building: its Belgian embassy, and its European Union and NATO representations.
“I am delighted that the Americans have chosen our beautiful town to settle in,” Vincent De Wolf, Mayor of Etterbeek, told LN24.
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The Americans plan to completely demolish the building, replacing it with a new, more compact design. While the loss in tax revenue from the offices will be a blow to Etterbeek, the land that won’t be utilised by the embassy will be given back to the commune to build housing.
The final decision on the move will be confirmed by the US Congress during the Autumn. Permits have yet to be issued but the Mayor states that the municipality is viewing the installation of the embassy “with a positive spirit.”