The SOHO project took another major step towards the continuing renovation of the railway station area of Luxembourg. It deals with the construction of 150 apartments and the layout of 2,300 m² of shops in a fully refurbished environment. This housing complex was designed by BS DEVELOPMENT (a cooperation between BESIX RED and SOLUDEC) in collaboration with INOWAI. The first apartments will be delivered in 2017.
After London and New York, Luxembourg will also have his own SOHO. The project takes place in the railway station area of Luxembourg between Strasbourg and Hollerich roads and deals with the construction of 4 buildings in an authentic green setting. It is fully in line with the development of the city and provides a residential offer that is adapted to the market expectation.
“The railway station area is transforming. It will experience a new dynamic in the years to come”, BESIX RED Managing Director Gabriel Uzgen explains. In fact, it is ideally located and close to the city centre, shops and administrations. Moreover, it has very good public transport services, including the future tramway.
To carry out this project, BESIX RED worked with INOWAI. “Thanks to their advice, we were able to understand the market demand and expectations”, M. UZGEN analyses, while pointing out that “investing in the railway station area, which is going to change substantially over the next few years, is not without risk. To be successful, we need to anticipate future changes in order to provide a targeted offer that can perfectly fit into this highly changing area. Anticipation is part of the missions of a developer. INOWAI gave us insight in this regard by providing us with its expertise of the Luxembourgish market”.
In concrete terms, SOHO plans to build 4 apartment blocks with shops on the ground floor. The new 150 apartments will almost total 15,000 m², i.e. an average area per apartment of 95 m². Shops will total 2,300 m². The project will have a triple A rating regarding energy performances.
INOWAI: tailored advice
SOHO will be a contemporary housing complex designed by architectural firms Moreno and M3. “Our objective is to offer future occupants a good quality of life by providing them with accommodations that are well designed, comfortable, well integrated into the environment and affordable (€5,800/m²)”, M. Uzgen explains. “This is the reason why large green spaces as well as living and meeting places will be created for residents”.
To carry out this project, BESIX RED works in partnership with SOLUDEC. The first apartment block, whose construction is expected to start this year, will consist of 573 m² of commercial premises and 58 apartments, from studios to four-bedroom units.
BESIX RED also works with INOWAI for the marketing of the programme. “The preparation of the project went very well, especially thanks to the professionalism of INOWAI teams. Therefore, we wanted them to assist us throughout the completion and marketing of our project”, Gabriel Uzgen points out. “Our cooperation was particularly profitable. This is why we want to achieve a long term partnership”.
The collaboration between BESIX RED and SOLUDEC on the one hand, and with INOWAI on the other hand, is innovative, because the cooperation between a developer and an agency from the very beginning of SOHO design enabled us to create a project in line with the local market expectations. We want to make sure investors acquire a good whose value will be preserved. “Our objective is to be involved throughout a property lifecycle”, INOWAI residential department manager Jean-Nicolas Montrieux explains. “We are able to guide our clients as soon as their purchase the land and provide them with our expertise of the Luxembourgish real estate market throughout the development of their projects until they are commercialized and managed. Therefore, we follow properties from the very beginning of their life”.
A single watchword: quality
Apart from SOHO, BESIX RED operates on other important projects in Luxembourg, such as the reconstruction of the Kons gallery in front of the railway station. This project deals with the layout of 17,000 m² of office spaces and shops as well as 37 apartments. ING plans to set up its headquarters there. Next to Findel airport, BESIX RED is also developing a 13,400 m² office space building, named “City Gate”.
“For all the projects we are involved in, we put our faith in quality”, Gabriel Uzgen asserts, while pointing out his desire to take his place in the continuing development of Luxembourg. BESIX RED, which celebrated its 25th anniversary, specializes in property development. Its activity is built around three areas: office space real estate, residential real estate, and services such as hotel business and trade. The residential sector represents 60% of its business volume.
BESIX RED, which employs around thirty people (architects, engineers, legal experts) is active in Belgium, where it set up its headquarters, France (Paris, Lille, and Lyon), and Luxembourg. The company also plans to move offices to Poland, more precisely to Warsaw and Cracow. It targets expanding cities.
BESIX RED is the subsidiary in charge of the real estate development of BESIX group. Its parent company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009, is Belgium’s largest group in the building and infrastructure construction sector. While offering a wide range of services, it employs more than 18,000 workers throughout 17 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.