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The sex hotels have been a point of contempt for the locals for years but now they are going away
On 13 August the Alhambra neighbourhood committee in Brussels reported that the city bought one of the buildings owned by a local sex hotel called Studio 2000. According to the committee, the building will be redeveloped into student housing, signalling a transitional phase for all sex hotels in the area.
A representative of Centres Publics d’Action Sociale (CPAS) explained that, through regional subsidies, they plan to open seven student rooms in the building. CPAS is a public body with centres in all 581 Belgian municipalities, which focuses on housing issues.
Their primary directive is to guarantee dignified living conditions to all citizens, however, this is not only limited to space, as they offer a range of psychological, financial and medical aid.
According to the neighbourhood committee, the City’s property acquisition will probably not end here. They claim that CPAS is interested in purchasing the whole Studio 2000 complex, but the asking price is currently too high. At the same time, the owner reportedly does not wish to extend the rental contract with the hotel manager, whose lease expired at the end of June.
A point of contempt in the neighbourhood
Besides Studio 2000, there are two other sex hotels in the area - Studio Europe and 5th Avenue. The Alhambra committee has been trying to do something about them since 2020 when they started a petition questioning their future in the neighbourhood.
According to the petition, these establishments started off as 'classic' date hotels where married men and women met their mistresses and lovers. The ‘cleaner’ reputation of the hotels was helped by the fact that they were only open during the day.
However, since 1997 they started working at night and over time gradually turned into brothels and hotspots for street prostitution, increasingly becoming a point of contempt for the locals.
Now, Studio 2000 is going away and so is Studio Europe, as the Alhambra committee claims it will be sold publicly after the summer.
They expressed their excitement at the developing situation on Facebook: “As a neighbourhood committee, we have always opposed cohabitation with street prostitution, which was imposed on us unilaterally by the opening of the 3 brothels. The closure of the hotels is, therefore, an important factor in bringing peace to a historically residential area.”
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