Port Oostende puts heritage at the heart of the economic revaluation of the Vlotdok site
At Port Oostende, a concrete plan is on the table in which the protected buildings from its patrimony will be given a new economic use. The new administration wants to revalue the site around the Vlotdok as an architectural landmark with an industrial character and international appeal. The focus of the development plan is on the economic activities that will take place there: stimulating entrepreneurship and creating employment for the inhabitants of Oostende.
Entrepot building and Customs building
Specifically, it concerns two buildings: the Entrepot building and the Customs building. Both buildings are located along the Slijkensesteenweg, at the foot of the Smet de Naeyer bridges and on the Oostkaai of the Vlotdok. The monumental neoclassical buildings were finished at the beginning of 1900 and protected as a monument in 1981.
The Entrepot building was placed on the market in 2018 by the board of directors at the time. The current management reversed this decision last year and decided to renovate the building and give it an economically responsible use.
In a second step towards the revaluation of the site, Port Oostende bought the Customs Building from the Buildings Agency, the real estate manager of the federal government. The procedure was completed on 4 June.
The renovation of both buildings is considered as one architectural project. In consultation with Real Estate Heritage, both buildings will be upgraded. This will contribute to anchoring employment in the heart of the port area.
We want to restore the site by bringing architecture and employment together. The Entrepot building and the Customs building belong to the heritage of Port Oostende and we are committed to giving these two buildings once again a maritime purpose. Several companies, active in the maritime industry, already showed an interest to set up their offices on this site. It is therefore a unique, easily accessible place with access to the water.
Port Oostende focuses on continuity, growth and employment within five pillars: Blue Economy, Bulk & Project Cargo, Cruises & Roll-on Roll-off, Circular Industry and the Fisheries Sector. These sectors are further expanded on the basis of two foundations: prioritizing safety, health and the environment and second supporting innovation and development. The revaluation of heritage is an essential element in this.