We have been at ExpoReal for some years now, first as visitors and then, since the inception of the joint Luxembourg stand by the Chamber of Commerce, as exhibitors,” said Jürgen Primm, Development Coordinator for Agora.
Founded in the late 2000s to rehabilitate the former steel industry production sites south of Luxembourg, Agora was born of a public-private partnership between the Luxembourg State and Arcelor Mittal.
The company considers ExpoReal a springboard for promotion, as here it can target German developers and investment funds. This year, the entrance to the Luxembourg stand at ExpoReal was graced by an impressive model created by Agora to showcase its Belval project in Esch.
Today, Belval consists of more than one million sqm, half of which has been sold for public construction projects (schools, science, research, etc.). The other half, designated for “private use” such as offices, shops and housing, still has land available for sale. “Our business model is to sell land for public or private use. Each year, we locate approximately 30,000 sqm for development. Of course, we did feel the effects of the crisis for a few years, with a fall to between 12,000 to 15,000 sqm, but there is now a recovery. We have already sold land for more than 312,000 sqm for private developments,” confirmed Jürgen Primm.
Housing versus Offices
The situation now is reassuring, although there is still a lot of constructable land in Belval. “Today we still have 400,000 sqm to market. We plan to dedicate 60% to housing, including a residential area of about 120 single family homes and some 500 apartments at Belval-Sud. Overall, there are still more than 230,000 sqm for housing, 130,000 sqm for office space and the remaining 50,000 sqm will be reserved for shops, laboratories, etc.,” confided Mr. Primm.
“Our desire is to see at least 250,000 sqm of office space built, which would be modular and meet the wishes of customers—more than 90,000 sqm are finished and nearly fully occupied and about 40,000 sqm are in the short or medium pipeline. This is part of the process of decentralization, to decongest the city by establishing homes and businesses within Belval,” explained Primm. “Also, the university and the Research City provide two more reasons to move to Belval.” This university is also the main engine of development for residential buildings: a student residence opened its doors in 2014 and two more will follow in 2016, sponsored by private investors and offering about 650 places.
More ideas and major projects
Answering a question about the future of Agora, Jürgen Primm was confident: “We are currently involved in a major project that will target a big company and its employees. This involves providing spaces totalling 14,000sqm, apportioned between offices and staff apartments.” Agora will shortly launch promotion of these spaces.
Jürgen Primm, Development Coordinator for Agora joined Agora in April 2003. He is an expert in residential, retail and office market research and marketing. As Development Coordinator, he also focuses on development of products, negotiation until signature and preliminary project management. He is a member of LUXREAL, Real Estate Association of Luxembourg a.s.b.l. and DLWI, The German-Luxembourg Economic Initiativ, and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Luxembourg and at the Fachhochschule Kaiserslautern.
Report on interview of Jürgen Primm of Agora at ExpoReal 2013.
Interview in French by Coralie Delferier, Corporate Communications Manager for RealCorp Luxembourg.
English version by Tia Azulay, Web Consultant for RealCorp Luxembourg.