La Strada: signing the agreement with the City of La Louvière2018/06/26
The partnership implementation agreement for the La Strada project was signed on Tuesday between the City of La Louvière and Wilhelm & Co. If it is accepted by the responsible Minister Ms. Valérie De Bue, it will be the starting point for the creation of a new sustainable district in the heart of the city, on the former Boch site. A hub for interaction and ‘communal living’ intended for all residents of La Louvière.
We are delighted that the partnership implementation agreement for the La Strada project could be signed between the City of La Louvière and our group this Tuesday 26 June 2018, and we look forward to the response of the responsible Minister, Ms Valérie De Bue,” said Peter Wilhelm, CEO of Wilhelm & Co. “For us, signing this agreement was an essential condition for the further development of the La Strada project, which will now be able to move up a gear.”
During the second half of 2018 Wilhelm & Co will be able to start the construction works of the “La Strada residences” with the implementation of a first building “the Clos des 7 Fontaines”, 96 apartments and some shops and restaurants at the foot of the buildings, which will constitute the first phase of the La Strada project.
The launch of the project and the construction of these apartments is excellent news for the city and for its inhabitants, since La Louvière has had to increase its number of new apartments, both in terms of quality and quantity, for years. These apartments will help both to meet the needs of La Louvière residents who want to settle in the city centre, and to attract new residents.
A mobilising project that aims to meet the expectations of residents
Information sessions will be organised soon for residents. A sales office was also installed a few days ago on the site, and site signs will soon be installed, too.
It is ten years this year since the company Wilhelm & Co – known for having re-energised the city centres of Louvain-la-Neuve and Liège with its projects L’esplanade and Médiacité – won the call for European partnership launched by the City of La Louvière, with the same objective as this one: revitalising its city centre.
The project is now back on track. The intention of Wilhelm & Co is to make La Strada, in collaboration with the authorities and local actors, a project which brings a new image and provides impetus for La Louvière, and which meets the expectations of its residents.
La Strada, a new sustainable district in the heart of the City
La Strada really is a new district taking shape on the former Boch site in the heart of La Louvière; its 16 Ha offers La Louvière the space to reorganise its city centre, which is unique in Belgium.
The object of in-depth reflection and in-depth study, the whole project is radically different from anything that has been done before. The various functionalities are built around a green space of one hectare; a place of conviviality, relaxation and meetings, accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. To the north of this park, most of the apartments have local shops, brasseries and restaurants at street level; to the south, the culture-leisure centre, in particular housing the Centre Kéramis, with its activities related to ceramics, the future academy of music of La Louvière, where a new range of artistic training will be developed, and one of the very first new generation shopping centres.
Trade and leisure re-invented
Time has passed, retail is evolving at a rapid pace and consumer habits have changed, The digital revolution has led to new modes of consumption which have multiplied. Everyone consumes according to their desires and lifestyle: purchase by smartphone (m-commerce), window shopping or scheduled shopping (in store), private sale (@ home), quick purchase or online favourite (e-commerce) or purchase guided by a friend’s opinion on social networks (s-commerce) Paradoxically, this development also arouses an increasingly strong desire for ‘communal living’, to reunite with friends and family. This leads to a growing demand for places conducive to human contact, sharing and discovery.
This fascinating and disruptive development has led Wilhelm & Co to completely rethink the ‘shopping and leisure’ section of La Strada. In the future, trade will be integrated into a much larger complex, offering visitors a palette of functions and activities infinitely more extensive than what we have known until now. Shops, leisure, meeting and co-working places or those intended for liberal professions, the most diverse services to individuals, all this will be integrated in keeping with the existing city centre.
And we can count on the recognized creativity of the architectes L35 and the teams of Wilhelm & Co including the CEO Peter Wilhelm – recently appointed Chairman of the European Council of Shopping Centres – to create a totally new kind of urban space, and establish a dynamic renewal, in partnership with the City of La Louvière.
In summary, La Strada will integrate:
• 600 new, modern and comfortable homes
• indoor and outdoor recreation
• specialist shops and major brands
• a wide choice of restaurants
• new generation, modular services and offices
• a ‘creation factory’ to host artists, temporary exhibitions
• a semi-covered hall to host markets with local products, flea markets, festive and cultural events
• workshops for both adults and children (cooking, DIY, vegetable gardening, etc.)
• an urban park, a central element of the neighbourhood designed as an urban living space with recreational activities
A new district, a springboard for the future and for employment
The La Strada district – through its ambition, its purpose and its regional vocation – will constitute a real economic engine, thus consolidating the dynamism and attractiveness of the City of La Louvière.
More than a thousand jobs will be created by these new activities: within this framework, the district plans to have a space dedicated to the training that will take place in collaboration with Forem, as Wilhelm & Co has already done in Louvain-la-Neuve and Médiacité.
“A maximum of Louviérois should take advantage of these jobs,” underlines Peter Wilhelm. Companies will sign a large number of integration clauses and recruit locally.
The proven expertise of Wilhelm & Co and internationally renowned architects
The Wilhelm & Co teams developed the master plan for the future district by collaborating with a group of offices specialising in the development of large multifunctional urban projects, in particular the L35 office in Barcelona, an internationally renowned architectural firm.
In terms of planning, the foundation stone of the La Strada project will be laid during the second half of 2018, with the start of construction of the first residential phase – the Clos des 7 Fontaines.
Regarding the shopping and leisure components of the La Strada project, Wilhelm & Co will present the new concept which it will have developed with the L35 firm to the City at the end of this year, in order to be able to start marketing the hypermarkets in 2019 and develop partnerships with key players, active in the urban leisure, culture and sports sectors.