Michel Knepper (Grossfeld):
The Golden Age of the Cloche d'Or
Michel Knepper, Operations Director at Grossfeld, who is the developer of the Cloche d’Or, shares his views on the upcoming plans for the Ban de Gasperich, a project focused on sustainability and mobility.
Can you briefly present the Cloche d’Or Project?
We are located in the south east of Luxembourg in a well-connected area of the capital. The project consists of 80 hectares of real estate for a 600,000 m2 development. The Cloche d’Or includes 2 public projects, the Lycée Vauban (due to open in September), a fire station and a mix of private commercial, office and housing infrastructure. During the planning phase, Luxembourg City asked for a minimum habitable area of 52,000 m2, an area which we have increased to 160,000 m2. As the land owners, we can adapt to market needs and provide tailor-made buildings for our clients. On a commercial basis, a three-level 75,000 m2 shopping centre is due to open in the spring of 2019. A shopping precinct on the Boulevard Raiffeisen will contribute to everyday life in the neighbourhood.
« The Cloche d'Or will be one of the rare sites in the city of Luxembourg benefiting simultaneously from train, tram and bus connections. »
What challenges did the project present?
In 2004, the government decided to promote public transport and to emphasise mobility. This aspect played a central role in our plans. The Cloche d’Or will be one of the rare sites in the city of Luxembourg benefiting simultaneously from train, tram and bus connections. By the end of 2017, the peripheral train station of Howald will be operational and the intermodal platform – for trains/buses – will open by the end of 2019. The tram will be connected to the neighbourhood by 2021. Another major focus of the project was sustainable development. All accommodation is rated triple A for energy consumption and we have signed a convention with Luxembourg City, linking us to the urban heating network provided with the heat of the waste combustion. Recovering this heat means no consumption of primary energy. The whole area will be powered in that way and the cogeneration building will allow us to increase the energy output during peak periods or as back-up in case of a network breakdown.
Have international economic developments over the past year affected the project?
We are clearly benefiting from the economic growth which Luxembourg has enjoyed over the past decade. Many clients have experienced significant expansion of their activity in the past 20 years. As a result, their offices tend to be found in different locations throughout Luxembourg, in poorly thought-out buildings. Our large, functional and low-energy office spaces are ideal for those looking to centralise their operations and major players are relocating to the area. Alter Domus and Deloitte will open offices here in July and November 2018 respectively. In addition, the financial industry’s migration from London to Luxembourg fostered by Brexit can already be witnessed. Newcomers are already scouting the Cloche d’Or.