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St. Anna's Church becomes a Supermarket, with restaurant and wine bar

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The Delhaize department store chain wants to build a supermarket in the monumental Sint-Anna Church. The plan was referred to by the Ghent Maritime College as the best of five redestination projects submitted on Thursday. The plans received the blessing of Gent's Bishop Luc van Looy.

The Consortium Market Hall, a joint venture which also includes Delimmo (Delhaize's real estate leg), is referred to as a preferred bidder on Thursday.

"This will be the first supermarket in a church in Flanders," says Delhaize spokesman Roel Davis. "We think it is a very honour that the city of Ghent has chosen our project. We will therefore carry out the plans with great respect for the environment. Moreover, it is a coincidence that the church was built in 1867, exactly the year we started. "

Delhaize was a candidate because there is not yet a Delhaize supermarket in this region. The nearest locations are in the dock-Noord and the water sports court.

This is not a supermarket like any other. "It's more about a market hall than a traditional store with shelves and territories," says Alderman Christophe Peeters (Open VLD). "It was also the only one of the five projects that took into account the monumental basilica form of the protected church. After all, there are no aisles. Heritage Care insisted that the volume was retained and not worked with plateaus and floors. The jury, which also consisted of the city architect, unanimously found this proposal the best of the five. "

How the shop will look exactly is not yet certain. "Let us insist that it will be the most modern and customer-friendly version that will exist at that time," says Roel Davis.

The design is by Rik de Dasig Architects in collaboration with architectural firm Bressers and One Plus projects.

In September, Delhaize presented its new supermarket concept for Photo: Delhaize

Buy or Lease

It is equally striking that besides the Delhaize shop there is also a new restaurant in the present choir. "With a connecting terrace that will walk outside in the backyard," says Peeters. "A wine bar is provided at the Rood loft. Left and right of the church are probably additional apartments and a coffee bar. On the right side of the building there is a passage. "

The current small parking lot next to the church would disappear. Where the future shoppers have to park their cars, you can still see them.

The deal is not yet fully completed. "We still have to negotiate the price," says Peeters. "It has not yet been established whether the church is sold or made available through a erfpachtopvereenkomst of 99 years. The city prefers the first. "

The monumental interior of the church (here at a staged during Odegand) with retained Photo: Dodi

In April, the city Council of Ghent made a call for relocation projects in the Sint-Anna Church, a challenging project because extensive restoration works are needed on the inside and outside.

Meanwhile, the furnishing of the shop can be started at the same time. Delhaize is hoping for the opening of the new market hall over at least five years.

On the other hand, the college also approved this morning's purchase by the city of St. Joseph's Church;, the church at the Wondelgemstraat is sold by the Church factory for 200,000 euros. That is less than half the initial sum.

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