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AU to take over the hospital buildings on Nørrebrogade

A contract of sale for the buildings formerly occupied by Aarhus Hospital on Nørrebrogade was concluded today. The new owner, Forskningsfondens Ejendomsselskab A/S (FEAS), will develop a completely new campus area in collaboration with Aarhus University. According to Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, the new property is a trump card for Aarhus and the university in the continued development of a research and teaching environment of a high international standard.

2016.01.05 | Rikke Skovgaard Lindhard

Photo: Googlemaps

New research facilities, residential units for students, business and innovation initiatives and a completely new campus and urban environment. These are some of the elements of AU’s vision for the development of the Aarhus Hospital property on Nørrebrogade and the integration of the University Park and Nobel Park.

With the finalisation of the sale agreement between the property’s owner, Central Denmark Region, and Forskningsfondens Ejendomsselskab A/S (FEAS), this vision can now be realised.

“This is a big day for the university. In taking over Aarhus Hospital, AU is gaining a fantastic opportunity to develop and confirm its unique status as an urban campus, and we are guaranteed potential for the long-term development of a research and teaching environment of a high international standard,” states Michael Christiansen, chair of the AU Board.

Stronger research and teaching environments

The Aarhus Hospital property is a crucial element in AU’s development plans for the Aarhus campus area, and it will make it possible to strengthen and unify a variety of the university’s research activities. This will take place both through expanding existing activities and through relocating some of the activities that are currently spread over various locations.

“The plan for who will be moving and when isn’t set in stone yet. Both the need for and pace of the moves will depend on an assessment of the extent to which they make academic and financial sense for the faculties, and they will take place in close dialogue with the academic environments involved,” explains Rector Nielsen.

In addition to research and teaching facilities, other possibilities include student and researcher housing as well as expanded partnerships with new and established businesses. Central Denmark Region is expected to continue leasing parts of the property for up to four and a half years.

The moves will take place in stages

FEAS, the purchaser of the property, is a subsidiary of the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF), which has supported the university’s gradual development of its campus in Aarhus since the company’s establishment in 1987. Today, FEAS owns approximately 115,000 sq m2 at different locations in Aarhus, including Nobel Park and numerous buildings in the Katrinebjerg district. The latest purchase adds another 110,000 sq m2 to the company’s portfolio which will enable AU’s continued organic growth.

“We are pleased that we can continue our close working relationship with FEAS, which means that the university will have a flexible framework in relation to taking over the property. This is not least important in a period characterised by pressure on the finances of the university sector in both the short and the medium term. We aren’t ‘overspending’ by committing ourselves to paying rent on another property all at once,” explains Rector Nielsen.

A process of detailed planning of how the property is to be used and how the moves are to proceed which will take place in close dialogue with the faculties involved will be initiated soon.

Aarhus and FEAS will now proceed to negotiate the conditions for development, the moving process, rent payments etc. When the lease agreement is finalised, it must be approved by the university’s board as well as the Finance Committee of the Danish Parliament.

According to the most recent schedule for the construction of the new hospital in Skejby, the region expects to move the last activities out of the buildings on Nørrebrogade in May 2019.

Facts about the property

  • The total floor area including tunnels and basements is approximately 143,000 sq m2.
  • The total usable floor area minus tunnels and basements is expected to be at least 110,000 sq m 2 in future.
  • The total site area is 99,000 sq m2.
  • The property consists of three plots: Nørrebrogade 44, Peter Sabroes Gade 10-12 and Nørre Boulevard 5.
  • The hospital opened in 1893.
  • The oldest buildings were designed by the architect Thomas Arboe, and later buildings were designed by C.F. Møller and Kay Fisker, among others.
  • Aarhus University will be leasing the buildings from Forskningsfondens Ejendomsselskab A/S (FEAS).
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