The CCN building, for many people working on the canal side of the North station the habitual entrance to the station, is to be demolished to make way for a new construction project.
The interim will be filled by a temporary project, featuring sports facilities, a skate park and an open-air bar with picnic tables, Bruzz reports. The aim is to give a green aspect to the exit to the city and the entrance to the station.
However, the view from the station is of a boulevard lined with skyscraper office blocks, which may not match the bucolic vision the planner had in mind.
The development is in the hands of Atenor, AG Real Estate en AXA IM – Real Assets, who took possession of the CCN building in 2019.
But they are so far only in possession of a permit to demolish the CCN building down to the top of the station, and still await a permit to build the project they have in mind for the future.
A public enquiry starts today into the plans and will run until 2 December.
In the meantime, some works have started inside the building, including the removal of asbestos, for which a permit is not required.
Barring objections, demolition work is intended to begin in early 2022. That will free up some 15,000m² of floor space which could be put to temporary use while a permanent solution is agreed and piloted through the legislative stages.
The intention is to transform the station environs into a local project, with sports and leisure facilities, presumably in the hope of injecting some local life into a station that is virtually deserted when office workers go home. The project is in the hands of Pascal Smet, (one.brussels-Vooruit), city alderman for urban development.
“The North Quarter is getting some special attention here,” he said.
“We want to enhance diversity, activate the ground floor and thus create a lively, interactive and cultural district.”