Maastricht seeking best plan for Landbouwbelang location

Following developments like the Eiffelgebouw, Lumière Cinema, Timmerfabriek/Muziekgieterij, and Loods 5, the next step in the project to develop the Sphinxkwartier district will be taken. The municipal council has decided that the Landbouwbelang location will be marketed using a tender procedure. All potential parties will be invited to submit detailed plans for this prominent location on the River Meuse in Maastricht’s dynamic Sphinxkwartier district.

Results of first market consultation

An initial market consultation has recently taken place, the results of which draw attention to two issues. Market parties with whom non-binding discussions have taken place until now have contributed initial ideas that are lacking in detail or put forward conventional programmes that do not harness the full potential of this strategic location, or at the very least do not yet do so. In addition, the municipal council has asked the executive to investigate whether or not the existing ‘cultural free zone’ at the Landbouwbelang could be accommodated in the redevelopment plans put forward by market parties. Enquiries submitted to market parties indicate that this would not be possible in the current form. The executive has therefore proposed to the council that a tender be organized in order to arrive at an optimal plan for this strategic urban location.

The moment is now: growing interest and rising annual costs

Interest in the Landbouwbelang location has grown in recent years, partly due to the positive developments that have taken place in the Sphinxkwartier. This growth in interest, combined with the poor state of repair of the buildings as well as rising annual costs, is sufficient reason to begin taking a more active approach to the redevelopment. It is on this basis that the tender procedure has been proposed. The council has been asked to agree to give equal weighting to tender conditions on both price and quality (50%/50%) and to set a minimum price of €4 million for the location. This proposal offers flexibility to ensure the right balance between money and quality on the one hand while offering potential candidates a guide price on the other. The tender conditions will provide further details on topics relating to quality.

About the Landbouwbelang

The Landbouwbelang is a 11,500-m2 industrial complex on the River Meuse in Maastricht, which was acquired by the municipality from Sappi in 2003, with a longer-term view to redevelop the strategic location. Squatters were already occupying the site at the time of its acquisition in 2003. Over the past fifteen years, the Landbouwbelang has grown to prominence as a cultural free zone. To this day, the location is still being used as a free zone and as a location for a wide range of activities, including a pass-it-on shop, a food bank, cultural activities, and workshops.

Future free zone

In 2017, the council indicated that it viewed the free zone at the Landbouwbelang as a valuable addition to Maastricht’s cultural landscape. The proposed tender procedure would give the free zone the opportunity to tender for the redevelopment of the Landbouwbelang location. Should the tender procedure ultimately lead to a complete reshaping and new role for the Landbouwbelang location and the free zone having to vacate the site, it has been proposed that the Kunstfront at the Radiumlocatie could serve as an alternative location, perhaps in combination with current users of the Kunstfront. This would be a suitable location on account of its close proximity to the city centre, planning opportunities, and combinations that could be created on the site with other parties and activities. Its presence would add value to the overall Radiumlocatie. The free zone and current occupants of the Kunstfront would of course be involved in exploring the options for this alternative location and elaborating on these. Belvédère has already included in its plans the ambition to redevelop the area around the Kunstfront/Radiumlocatie. The annual council document concerning development of the land by Belvédère proposes to the council that an amount of €1,350,000 be made available for redeveloping the Kunstfront site, exclusive of VAT, inclusive of interest and indexation.
It is expected that a tender procedure and preparations for the redevelopment work would take around two years. Until the project to repurpose the site actually begins, the free zone would be allowed to continue to use the Landbouwbelang site.

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