The entire area of the joint development zone (Zone d’Aménagement Concerté - ZAC) Saint-Sauveur was the object of a memorandum of understanding between the State, the SNCF network, the European Metropolis of Lille (MEL), and the City of Lille to definitively acquire 13 hectares (32 acres) of the SNCF’s former railway center—an urban wasteland that will be developed into a new neighborhood in the heart of the metropolis.
As recalled by Damien Castelain, president of the MEL: “There are 48,729 people in need of housing in the metropolis.” Housing is a priority for the MEL, which projects the construction of 6,000 homes each year. The Lille-Saint-Sauveur site will eventually account for 2,500 homes of all types; it is thus natural that the MEL is involved in this operation.
This important agreement united the Minister of the City, Youth and Sports, Patrick Kanner; Damien Castelain, MEL President; Jacques Rapoport, SNCF network President; Thierry Repentin, interministerial delegate for social diversity in housing; Audrey Linkenheld, parliament member and municipal councilor in charge of the Lille housing program; and Jean-François Cordet, Prefect of the region. An event made all the more important as the negotiations on the land transfer price were long and difficult.
Finally, as the minister stated, “the partners have made the right choice.” For half the market value, the land was finally acquired.
For a long time, “the MEL closely followed this case” says its president, since it participated in financing the studies for the site. Today, the MEL takes part in the 7.8 Million euro land acquisition. The Lille-Saint-Sauveur site is all the more interesting to the MEL, as it is a perfect representation of the type of urban renewal that the MEL is actively engaged.
This afternoon was also the occasion of a unique agreement: the sale of a state property for free. The 1,500 square meters (almost 1/2 an acre) of the “Château du CETE” will be the subject of redevelopment--building a new halfway house to replace the current building. This social project will feature 50 housing units and will offer 45 beds for rehabilitation. This reconstruction project, with a value of 2.9 Million euros, excluding the estate’s sale, was financed up to 16.5% by the MEL.
Are there brownfield redevelopment projects in your community? Does your city enter into public-private partnerships to develop them? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.