Dunkerque Promotion has assisted Piet Brysse, a Belgian investor, with his property project in the Dunkirk territory. After receiving initial positive results, the agency is continuing to support him in this second implementation phase of the project: the development of a business park and shopping and leisure centre on the site of a former drawing plant in Bourbourg.
“It’s the project of a lifetime, I’m putting all my energy into it.” A Belgian investor living in Bruges, he came to the Dunkirk region with the idea of buying farmland that he could rent to farmers. Instead, a notary from Bourbourg offered him 13 hectares of land and 55,000 m2 of buildings, most of which were outdated. “I went to visit the whole site and I decided to buy it. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it,” says Piet Brysse, unfazed. “Then I created different zones on the site. That really helped me to gain a clearer vision of it. And that’s how my business park development project started to take shape ”, he states.
Located halfway between Dunkirk and Calais, right on the edge of the motorway, the place he envisages is rather well placed. In 2018, Piet Brysse built nine 360 m2 units, with 140 m2 of private car park. “I suppose I hit the nail on the head, because in just three months they were all rented,” states the investor.
Buoyed by this first success, Piet Brysse launched the construction of 9 further units ranging from 120 to 720 m2 in size at the start of 2020, some with offices and overhead cranes, for which he quickly received signs of interest.
The entrepreneur is now (March 2022) finalising the construction of larger units (between 300 and 400 m2) combining offices and potential accommodation, a new concept which is quite widespread in Belgium (private life-work life hybrid). A brasserie will round it all off at the end of the year 2022.
Never stuck for ideas, Piet Brysse is also undertaking a childcare centre construction project and new co-working offices which are scheduled to be ready by the start of 2023.
This will be followed by the launch of the shopping centre for which he has already found brands that have pre-booked units (early 2024).
“We are currently studying the possibility of becoming self-sufficient in terms of energy, particularly electricity, by fitting solar panels and installing wind turbines.”
The last stage of this impressive project is anticipated by 2025-2026: the “housing” part, particularly in light of the arrival of major industrial projects such as Verkor. The Belgian entrepreneur expects to build 55 dwellings, houses and apartments for rent.
“Between buying the site, the demolitions and developments, I estimate my investment to be 35 million euros until this point”, states Piet Brysse. “Around a hundred people are already working on site at present. In time, the project will generate the creation of around 300 jobs. I’m delighted to be able to participate in the economic revitalisation of Bourbourg, which really suffered at the time of the closure of its drawing plants. I’ve fallen in love with this city and the region. I hope to spend the rest of my career here,” he concludes.