MAASTRICHT, THE NETHERLANDS
The Belvédère brickwork factory closed in the 1980s and the land was left derelict for several decades. In 2000, the municipality of Maastricht and two major Dutch investors signed a letter of intent in which they agreed to analyse the opportunities to regenerate the area. This letter of intent was transformed into an official cooperation between the three parties in 2004. The formal establishment of this cooperation had become possible as the municipal council had officially agreed with the masterplan for Belvédère prior to this. Following the new agreement, a joint-venture was established in which each contractual party had a third of the shares. The joint-venture was supposed to buy the land in the Belvédère area, service it, and then sell it to the three parties again. After that, developers would be invited to come up with plans.
The 2004 plan for Belvédère included 4,000 dwellings, 150,000 sqm of office space, and a maximum of 40,000 sqm of retail space. As well, the project would provide cultural, leisure, and hospitality services and general social facilities, and about 100 small and medium-sized companies in the area were asked to move to other locations in order to provide room for the Belvédère developments. Since 2004 a lot has changed, though, particularly due to the global financial crisis and its aftermath. The joint-venture was dismantled as private investors left the project scene, and the municipality was forced to reconsider its approach to the Belvédère area. Since the launch of a new approach to the project, in 2013, developments have commenced again.
Image (above): Harbour area
Research Area, Belvédère