The Hauts de France region has the highest concentration of industrial brownfields in France. The Lille metro area has close to 160 of them that cover an area of approximately 400 hectares. Is this simply melancholy commentary or a new opportunity for the towns where these exist? Lille wants to create a vibrant new architectural hybrid on the Fives Cail Babcock site, a past leader in the French steel industry. Let’s take a close look at Fives Cail project in Lille.
Fives Cail: a strategic repurposing in the heart of Lille
Renovation of the old Fives Cail Babcok steel site began in 2012. The project has strong potential due to its size and location. It’s close to Lille’s business parks, railroad stations and major highways. The Lille Fives Cail Babcock steel factory closed in 2001, leaving behind vestiges of its distinguished history. The site functioned as an industrial force for 150 years and employed and provided for thousands of families, some of whom still live in the area that bears its name today. This fact lends an important symbolism to the current project. In addition, there will be a 25-hectare green area in the center of the new development.
Soreli in charge
Soreli, a company focused on commercial redevelopment in the Lille area and an official vendor for MEL, the Métropole Européenne de Lille, has a strategic vision for this project. The company is coordinating various related construction phase and the first of these will come to an end in 2020 with the completion of 500 residential units. Redevelopment of the industrial space began in 2015 and there will be an estimated 160,000 square meters available for business use focused on four separate themes: sports, culture, business and culinary-related activities.
Environmentally friendly and more!
“Fives Cail is an ambitious project that meets a need expressed by public and private entities and those who live in the area,” Jérôme Crunelle, Soreli’s Fives Cail project manager, explains.
Fives Cail meets high environmental standards and its unique layout allows for innovative uses. The park will host residential, leisure and sporting activities and there will be an area specifically devoted to business, starts-ups and neighborhood trades. The site offers four different themes in an effort to attract activity related to culture, sport, cuisine and business.
Current projects include:
- 1,200 residential units,
- 1,500 square meters of office space for businesses and associations,
- 5 hectares of public space including a five-hectare park,
- amenities such as an international secondary school focused on hospitality (scheduled to open in September 2016), a pool, a sports center, a movie theater, a co-op café, a rain-fed water cure and spa,
- and an area where people can meet up and share their expertise.
It’s the place to be in September 2016 when the international hospitality school and several public spaces will open. Come see the new face of Fives Cail! The current transformation will preserve the current facade, in hommage to the steel giant that was Fives Cail Babcock.