The liquidation of the Sheraton Brussels Hotel, announced yesterday (Tuesday) is a grave concern to the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode Mayor, Emir Kir. He is calling for a corporate rescue package to be found quickly. Per local rules, which tax hotels with more than 100 rooms at the rate of 1,800 euros per room, the Sheraton’s hotel business ceasing would amount to a loss of 900,000 euros per year.
This amounts to around 30 euros per inhabitant.
The mayor declares, “This is a considerable amount. This is a major worry for local finances and we are paying significant attention to this matter.”
On the basis of average income per inhabitant, Saint-Josse is, in fact, Belgium’s poorest commune.
The mayor considers that public investment in the district would be a benefit that would appeal to an investor.
He says, “Local authorities – as much at regional as commune level – have not stopped investing in the area. There is light at the end of the tunnel regarding the regional authority’s renovation of Place Rogier. The commune will imminently invest in Rue des Croisades, close to the Sheraton. Works on the Place Saint-Lazare will start at the end of next year.”
He further said, “At commune level, we have also obtained the regional renovation contract. We have a highly supportive infrastructure, in terms of public investment. Given these considerable investments, a multitude of investors might be expected to be interested in the hotel. Our first concern is avoiding the problem of the building being empty. I fully understand the concerns of employees, and we must also hope that, for their sakes, a corporate rescuer is quickly found.”
In relation to works to be completed to the hotel, Emir Kir mentions that the building meets all requisite legal standards.
Kir says, “Works have been carried out, such as asbestos-related work, on numerous occasions. Certainly, there remains building work to do, but we should not paint a picture of an unmanageable building. I also stress that all safety and environmental standards have been met. We are, in fact, talking about a currently fully operational hotel.”
The Brussels Times