The Heysel plateau prepares for its big facelift. Now, the Neo project will be accompanied by a sports complex aimed both at high level sport clubs and at local residents.
A stadium, an athletics track and a few football pitches… Historically, sport has always been present on the Heysel plateau. Its legacy will be reinforced in the site’s urban restructuring. Indeed, aside from the Heysel’s big property renovation projects, Brussels regional council and Brussels city council have just unveiled the Neo new “parc des sports”. The programme includes: a synthetic rugby/football field, a hockey field and a half with a stand seating 2,500, an athletics training track (400m), a 200-space car park in the basement… and, in the surrounding area, new trails for pedestrians and cyclists.
A coherent green area
The project was devised by Omgeving SCRL – Atelier Ruitelijk advies SPRL – Zwarts & Jansma architecten SA. Installed inside a huge landscaped park, this new sports centre also aims to be a new place to walk for Brussels residents. To do this, its green areas will be enlarged from 15 to 21 hectares, including the enlargement of the Verregat park by 5000 m2. A recreational water area, a set of waterfalls leading to a storm basin, a walk by the water and tree-lined paths complete the scenario. In the end, the Heysel plateau will offer 70 hectares reorganised into a coherent green space, which is far from being the case today.
This new sports complex will suppose an investment of 23 million euros. But in total, the Heysel plateau redeployment will mobilise approximately one billion euros, 75% financed by the private sector. The Master Plan for the future Heysel basically includes the Neo 1 project (a shopping centre, houses, nurseries, a leisure centre and a cinema complex), already awarded to the Unibail/Rodamco/Besix consortium, and Neo 2 (International congress and hotel centre) which should be awarded at the end of the year. The phases of the sports complex and the extension of the Verregat park will be executed on the fringes of Neo 1. The start of works is scheduled for November 2018 and the project should be completed at the beginning of the next decade.