Handelsbeurs, Antwerp

Work on the Handelsbeurs commences

On Monday 23 May renovation work commenced on the Handelsbeurs, Schippersbeurs, and Lange Nieuwstraat 20-22-24 in Antwerp. All preparatory and archaeological work has been completed and all the necessary permits have been granted. The historically valuable project includes;

  • a hotel at Lange Nieuwstraat 20-22-24,
  • a public pedestrian route, event and meeting space in the Handelsbeurs,
  • a restaurant in the Schippersbeurs, and
  • an underground car park under the Handelsbeurs and hotel.

If everything goes according to plan, the project will be completed by the end of 2018. From that time onwards, the brand new car park and the Handelsbeurs will be open to the general public. The hotel in the plan is expected to open its doors in 2019.

Aerial view of the Handelsbeurs

Location of the Handelsbeurs in Antwerp

Hotel, restaurant and underground car park

The hotel in the Lange Nieuwstraat 20-22-24 will be a luxury, lifestyle boutique Autograph hotel with 138 rooms from the worldwide Marriott chain. The hotel will respect the authenticity of the location and make maximum use of historically valuable elements.

Following the renovation, the Handelsbeurs will again fulfil a public role, just as in the past. The ground floor will be used for larger business and public events such as conference, congress, product presentations events as well as markets etc. The first floor will have smaller meeting venues where events can be held in a unique setting, and a business club.

The Schippersbeurs will become a unique restaurant with authentic mosaic floors and original domes. An ‘all weather’ terrace in the Handelsbeurs will be operated when no events are taking place.

A new parking facility will be constructed under the Handelsbeurs and the hotel. This three-layer underground parking facility will offer space to approximately 293 cars and 127 bicycles, with access from Sint-Katelijnevest 55.

Public-private partnership

The complex realisation of this project which includes renovation, restoration, and new construction in the heart of Antwerp is possible thanks to a public-private partnership. The initiators have combined the following partners:

  • The Vlaamse Erfgoedkluis, a heritage organisation from the Flemish Government, an initiative from our Flemish Prime Minister.
  • Through its real estate subsidiary AG VESPA, the City of Antwerp will remain ownership of the Handelsbeurs and Schippersbeurs, via a leasehold to Handelsbeurs Antwerpen nv.
  • The Denys group, involved in monumental buildings and specialised in various restoration and renovation work, as well as specific underground foundation engineering.
  • Diepensteyn NV, who seeks properties with the characteristics ‘Landmark & Heritage’.
  • KBC decided to assist in the financing of this prestigious project.

The layout of the parking was optimised by Q-Park in order to facilitate an ideal public parking facility in this complex context.

Plan of Handelsbeurs (plus hotel) underground parking facility, level -2. The layout of the parking was optimised by Q-Park in order to facilitate an ideal public parking facility in this complex context. Overarching Project Architect: eld ©, www.eld.be.

Cross section of the Handelsbeurs plan. Overarching Project Architect: eld ©, www.eld.be.

A monumental plan

It is clear that these buildings have considerable historical value and that they are well worth preserving and integrating into a monumental plan to rejuvenate the neighbourhood surrounding the Sint-Katelijnevest and the Lange Nieuwstraat.

The Handelsbeurs will once again have a public function. A spectacular, unique setting where people can meet while enjoying a drink or snack in the centre square of the Handelsbeurs. The building will offer facilities for international conferences, business meetings, product presentations and the like. Weekend visitors can enjoy the flower market and the local eateries too. This enchanting location is flexible and versatile and will surprise visitors repeatedly with its numerous unique elements, from the pillars and the arched vaults to the refurbished 19th century dealing rooms. While strolling around, visitors can brush up their geography from Antwerp to Zanzibar.

Those looking for a more extensive lunch or dinner will find the Schippersbeurs restaurant an excellent location to enjoy the complete dining experience in a special setting with authentic mosaic floors and extraordinarily beautiful domes.

All this in the heart of Antwerp without any worries about parking because the location will offer ample parking space for cars and bicycles, and is easily accessible.