The expansion of Babylon in The Hague will be larger than initially expected. With more office space and more housing, Imca Vastgoed and Bouwfonds Property Finance now plan a total of 80,000 m², 31,000 m² of which will be office space. The expansion has been made possible as the program for the Anna van Buerenplein has been cancelled. The Council of the City Development department has agreed in a cooperation agreement between the city and the involved parties.
Imca and Bouwfonds will soon officially sign the agreement with the city. Babylon will be expanded with 31,000 m² of office space (currently 22,000 m²), 15,000 m² of retail space (currently 11,000 m²), 34,000 m² of housing (currently none) and 950 parking spaces in the Anna van Bueren parking garage against the current 360 parking spaces which will be demolished. The total investment for the project will be almost € 200 million.
The initial program would have a smaller residential volume and an expansion of only 20,000 m² of office space. This volume could increase as it was decided to not build a tower on the location of the current parking garage but to develop this as a part of Babylon. The demolition of the parking garage has already started and will make way for a square that will function as the entrance of the new, more outward facing Babylon.
The new Babylon will more noticeably be part of the skyline of The Hague with residential towers of 140 meter high and of a 100 meters, developed by architect agency Meyer en Van Schooten. The existing construction will be built around the current building so it will not first be demolished and then rebuilt. The building of the parking garage will start mid 2005. Mid 2006 at the earliest the building of the first phase will start with planned delivery in 2008. It is not yet known which functions will be part of the first phase. This will depend on the market situation.
Babylon is part of the plan ‘Den Haag Nieuw Centraal’ (The Hague New Center), one of the key projects of renewed stations following the arrival of the High speed train. Imca Vastgoed emphasizes the fact that the plan for Babylon came about in a relatively short period of time, partly thanks to the City of The Hague.