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12th-century Woluwe watermill is up for auction at €1.8 million
Property investors in Brussels with a few million euros going spare can soon bid to buy a watermill in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.
The Lindekemale mill has been a listed building since 1989 and has been owned by the municipality since 1955, which has now decided to sell it at auction.
The building, which can be found alongside the Woluwe river, opposite Woluwe shopping centre, will go under the hammer with a starting price of €1.8 million.
The watermill's origins date back to the 12th century. The first recorded mention of it was in 1129, which makes it one of the Brussels region's oldest mills. Over the centuries it has produced grain, then paper, chicory and coffee.
After the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert bought the property, it was transformed in the mid-1960s into a restaurant, where local diners could enjoy a meal overlooking the river.
The local council had tried to find a new tenant for the mill last year, in the hope of reopening some form of restaurant or cafe.
"No satisfactory applications came forward," said Woluwe-Saint-Lambert mayor Olivier Maingain, pointing to the substantial renovation and repair works that would be needed.
The municipality has now decided to sell the 2,000m² building - although it will retain ownership of the watermill's wheel and turbine.
"We have to restore the mechanics of the wheel. We cannot impose this on a future buyer," Maingain said. To achieve this, he is in discussions with Brussels Environment, which manages the Woluwe river valley.
The online auction for the Lindekemale mill will open at 13.00 on 27 September and will close at the same time on 5 October.