Belval occupancy up, around 20,000 daily visitors

The development of the Belval site is entering its final phase. (Photo: Agora)

The development of the Belval site is entering its final phase. (Photo: Agora)

Despite the pandemic, the development company Agora is making positive progress on its urban projects in Esch-sur-Alzette, it said in its annual report.

Agora reports positive figures for its financial year, with an increase in the number of occupants of Belval, Around 20,000 people access the site daily, including approximately 10,000 employees and 5,700 students, researchers and university staff.

The site also counts 3,600 inhabitants and 250 companies, institutions and businesses, mainly active in the fields of research, development, innovation, IT and finance. The office market is doing well with 268,000m² of space--making it the fifth largest tertiary site in the country--and a vacancy rate that has fallen from 4.1% to 1.1% in one year. Société Générale Luxembourg, the ministry of education and Statec have each rented around 10,000m².

In terms of residential construction, by the end of 2020 Belval will have a total of 1,124 residential units, to which must be added the 668 student flats and the 120 units for the elderly in the Belvaux retirement home. A further 1,000 units are currently being planned or built, of which 443 can be delivered within the next 18 months.

Esch-Schifflange, a new challenge

In the course of the 2020 financial year, in parallel with its planning and development activities on the Belval site, Agora also completed analyses on the feasibility of an urban project on the former steelworks site in Esch-Schifflange.

On 23 October last year, a committee including the government, ArcelorMittal and the commune entrusted Agora with the mission of revitalising the 61-hectare site. The urban planning competition for the future district, launched in 2019, had been won by the duo Cobe and Urban Agency, associated with Luxplan.

The initial project has a building potential of approximately 795,000m² of gross floor area. Around 47% of this is for housing, of which 30% will be affordable housing. Another quarter of the total area is reserved for offices, crafts and trade. A further 9% of the surface area is allocated to public facilities, in particular with a view to the creation of primary schools or a high school. The first plots of land are scheduled to be marketed in 2025.