9 august 2018
Finding the right location for your office can be a daunting task. How do you go about choosing the best place for your office? What do you prioritize? There are many factors in play when picking the right spot. We feel that whatever you deem most important, Zaventem got it covered. Here’s why you should consider renting your office in Zaventem.
Hotspot for international companies
What do Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss, and Samsung have in common?
You guessed it: they all have offices in Zaventem.
There are several reasons why they’ve chosen to set up shop in this seemingly discrete, unassuming town, right next to Brussels.
It’s all about the rent
Compared to Brussels, a city that often comes up as the first option, office spaces in the Brussels airport area are rather low in rent. The difference in price amounts to almost 150 €/m2.
This has several causes. For one, Brussels’ rent is high due to the European Quarter. Since a lot of public institutions and high-profile companies are vying for an office space in a relatively small area, prices are skyrocketing.
Fiscal pressure is also a factor. When it comes to office spaces, Flanders and Brussels have a different tax code. If you rent an office in Brussels, you’ll end up paying 15 to 20% more in taxes than in Flanders. It goes without saying that this is a massive deal breaker for many companies.
Plenty of companies, like Estée Lauder or PepsiCo, moved their offices to the Corporate Village, one of the new business areas in Zaventem. Even more recently we’ve witnessed the move of Deloitte and KPMG to other sites in Zaventem like the Gateway and Passport respectively.
Other than being in the vicinity of the Airport, there’s one more thing that those business areas have in common.
They are new.
Zaventem's business area had a recent surge in new office buildings, which caused an influx of companies. Those companies were attracted by the fact that the buildings were, of course, new, but also because a lot of other companies started renting offices or entire buildings in Zaventem. It sort of became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Companies left Brussels for the Brussels Airport Area due to a number of reasons, which in turn made other companies realize that renting office spaces in Zaventem might be a smart move. This movement proved to add a wave of excitement and dynamism to this unassuming town.
That dynamic spirit led to significant innovation: Zaventem's companies are ahead of the game when it comes to mobility.
A number of high-caliber companies in a small municipality attract other companies. This offers great opportunities in terms of expansion, growth, collaboration, and innovation. This became apparent when a number of businesses joined forces to create a carpooling app, called Commuty. This app allows employees from different companies to carpool.
The local government was instrumental in attracting innovating companies. As Sven Willekens of the local government of Zaventem explained. “Accommodating the 2500 companies and entrepreneurs and tens of thousands of employees is a priority for the local government. Last week we introduced a bill to allow the industrial park of Keiberg to host a wider variety of companies, instead of the current ones which predominantly linked to the airport. In addition to that, we put considerable effort into improving durability and ecology in the area.”
That’s not all. The local government has numerous initiatives in order to attract companies and help them prosper.
“We have installed ways of collaboration with companies. They are actively involved when developing a new industrial park. The companies in Zaventem have the possibility to collaborate and have an impact on the way we develop our traffic policy.”
You’ve probably heard it all before: “The benefits of having an office in Zaventem, is its proximity to the Airport and to the highway”. Nothing new, but still very true. Brussels is literally a 20-minute drive from the Corporate Village. Brussels Airport is even closer: you could go by foot, which would take about 20 minutes or go by car in 8.
Until recently, going by car was the safest bet. But a couple of years ago we saw a genesis of new easy ways of transportation to the Airport area. There’s the new train station underneath Brussels Airport. In addition to this, the Schuman-Josphattunnel was opened in 2016, a double-track railway tunnel that allows travelers to go directly from the European District and the NATO headquarters in Haren/Evere to the airport.
Those who want to burn off excess energy in the morning can always ride the bike to work. The Brussels Airport Company funded a highway strictly for bikes, that will be ready for use come 2019.
Brussels Airport and its impact
The airport has an even bigger impact than merely transporting people. Sven Willekens: ”The airport is the 2nd largest economic hub of the country. An increase in activity of 1% leads to thousands of new jobs in this area. But the ripple effect of any improvement reaches even further than the region. For every 15 jobs created in Zaventem, 1 job is created nationwide.”
We asked Sven Willekens for his top 3 reasons for companies to settle in Zaventem.
“First and foremost: transportation. Brussels Airport as a facilitator of air travel is a massive driver of economic improvement. The increasing amount of air travel leads to decreasing transport costs, the creation of new markets and activities and the globalization of the economy.”
“Secondly: The airport region of Zaventem is instrumental because it, directly and indirectly, creates jobs. Air travel itself has lead to numerous new industries and jobs, like plane manufacturers, engine builders, fuel deliverers, airports and of course airlines”
“Last but not least: The entire Business area is a major hub for an increasing number of large companies.”
As you can tell Zaventem is a town in full expansion, that has a lot in store: There’s the lower rent, which often is the end all, be all. The city of Brussels is really close, Brussels Airport is even closer...and let’s not forget the innovative spirit and networking possibilities.
Why don’t you come and see for yourself? We’d be happy to welcome you into our offices for a chat and a coffee or a trial.
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