Spar Destelbergen: connected to the neighbourhood

In Destelbergen, east of Ghent, we transformed the former garden centre Viva Verde into a Spar neighbourhood supermarket and 5 modern flats.

Spar Destelbergen proved once again that the success of a project largely depends on a good relationship with the town council, close neighbours and private partners. Through constant interaction between all parties, the new supermarket has been an integral part of the local community from day one.

Expansion manager Roel Beyl explains.

  • Combining living and shopping by adding 5 flats
  • Close to community facilities (sports hall, youth movement, school, tennis club, football club, rehabilitation centre, police)
  • In close cooperation with the neighbourhood

In cijfers

Several parties were interested in my business. I chose Colruyt Group because they had a clear vision of where the site should go.

Koen Vuylsteke | Managing Director Viva Verde

Complete proposal

Koen Vuylsteke, manager of garden centre Viva Verde, wanted to sell his business to a supermarket chain in 2014. We made him the most complete proposal. Little remained of the original garden centre in 2018, when Spar Destelbergen opened. The greenhouses and water tower made way for a modern supermarket and five flats.

Sustainable steps

Since the store is located in a densely built-up area, we took the immediate neighbours into account during the renovation. The external cooling system is additionally encapsulated so that it cannot be heard in the neighbouring restaurant. The municipality of Destelbergen asked for the cornice height of the surrounding houses to be maintained in order to create a uniform street image.

Pole of attraction

Spar Destelbergen is excellently located. The Dendermondesteenweg is a lively road that attracts customers from the entire region because of its proximity to the E17 and the R4 around Ghent. Good for local trade. At the same time, the municipality wanted to avoid the road network becoming saturated quickly in the vicinity of the primary school and the supermarket. Therefore, only entry via the main road is allowed. Outgoing traffic is diverted as much as possible to the rear to ensure a smooth flow.

Tricky business

Stocking the store turned out to be a small feat. Because the passage under the flats is too low for heavy vehicles, our trucks had to find an alternative route to supply the supermarket. The municipal school is both an asset and an obstacle. It attracts customers and at the same time can cause traffic problems at the busiest times of the day; between 8 and 9 a.m. and between 4 and 5 p.m. There is a solution for everything: we acquired the perpetual right to supply via the sports hall car park. And we agreed with the primary school to schedule the delivery moments outside the school peak hours.

Safety is a priority in the school environment. The agreement with Colruyt Group not to stock the store when children are dropped off and picked up gives us peace of mind.

Marleen Verniers | Director of the Destelbergen Municipal Primary School

The process

2014: First contact with former garden centre

2016: Granting of the building permit

2018: Store opening

2019: Sale of flats to private investor

2020: Sale of store to retail property investor