As part of the renewal of the Mechelen railway station area, the groundworks on the MALT site will officially start today. Through this project, Mechelen will gain a new and sustainable urban district where it will be nice to stay, live and worke in the near future.
The abandoned industrial area will make way for residential areas, recreational and workspaces in a low-traffic environment of 1.9 hectares with plenty of green. The iconic architecture of the two remaining heritage buildings will be preserved.
Alexander Vandersmissen, Mayor of the City of Mechelen: "Mechelen promotes itself daily as attractive city to live and work in. Within the context of this project we also notice that more and more parties are finding their way to invest in our city. The city council is pleased that the developers are repurposing the old 'Malterie Vandermolen' after years of vacancy, with respect for the site and the history of the place. Both the 19th century malt house 'Socaré' located at the 'Geerdegemvaart' and the former furnace room, showroom and factory hall of the old furniture factory 'Van Craen' near the 'Postzegellaan' will be part of the renewed skyline of the Mechelen railway station area."
Greet Geypen, Alderwoman for Urban Development, Spatial Planning and Housing, Economy, Enterprise and Work: "The start of the construction works on the MALT site is an important step in the realisation of the city council's vision. The ongoing renewal of the Mechelen railway station area is only intensified by this project. This urban renewal project in the heart of the city of Mechelen doesn't only bring a high-quality mix of 39 homes and 25 apartments with a contemporary or characterful historical touch. With more than 21,300 m² of extra workspaces in both heritage and newly built office buildings, MALT also gives a unique impulse to the economic life and employment in our city on an ideal location nearby the railway station. Thanks to the construction of a large public domain with, among others, a playground and petanque court the future inhabitants, companies and residents of the surrounding areas will be able to enjoy the additional greening and possibilities in this area. This development will further promote Mechelen as growing city of the future."
Johan Geeroms, Managing Director PSR, project developer Jan De Nul Group: "This project is important to us, because it is a textbook example of the redevelopment of vacant and undervalued sites, which require a comprehensive solution to numerous challenges including mobility, accessibility, environment, heritage and circular construction. After the demolition works of the Inofer buildings, we are now tackling the historical contamination of this site. A healthy soil for housing, working and entertainment is of vital importance. We are looking forward to transforming this site with great historical value back into an active urban district for Mechelen."
Christophe Jacobs, General Manager CODIC Belgium: "Since we entered into this ambitious project in 2020, we can only note that the office market has changed dramatically. Besides looking for a balance between working at home and being present at the office, we were all confronted with an energy crisis and the entailing explosive rise of energy costs. It is our task as developer to provide answers to these new challenges. With the start of construction inthis unique urban project, we provide office users with an answer to persuade employees to travel more and more to the office again using the existing public transport, the network of bicycle roads, but also by car. Furthermore, we put all our efforts into an energy neutral concept in which we reduce the energy consumption to a minimum using geothermal energy, solar panels, insulation and heat pumps. “
Elisabeth Verstraeten, project developer Triginta: "MALT reflects our vision on high-quality development: the project brings a successful mix of sustainable apartments, houses and office buildings, hidden behind authentic and modern facades. On the inside, customization, craftsmanship and a subtle feel for aesthetics also prevail."
Historical contamination is tackled in a sustainable way
Part of the MALT site, the former Inofer site, is historically contaminated. The developers PSR-CODIC mapped the contamination in fine detail and are planning a two-phased approach to allow the future neighbourhood to grow on healthy soil. Upon creation of the construction pit for the new office building, the soil is thoroughly sanitized.