Ignace De Paepe was in his early twenties when his father died and he suddenly had to run the family business. Throwing in the towel was not an option. Moreover, with these new responsibilities, a new project was immediately thrown in his lap: the demolition of the Texaco refinery in Ghent. 250 hectares of contaminated soil, ready to be tackled in an unprecedented manner, because at that time this kind of demolition had never taken place in Belgium. From then on, De Paepe's ambition was palpable.
Some things never change
One of the vital characteristics of MG Real Estate is that we stand out from the competition at all times. In the past, that was also a factor for Ignace De Paepe. We made a bid - as did other players - for the old Shell depot in Neder-Over-Heembeek. You could say it was a great bid, which was refused. Until it turned out that we were the only party that did not fall back on small print. Our price was what it was. Price closed, pay in advance. And the Shell site was ours.
The past winks at MG Real Estate every day thanks to The Big Bear - the largest scissors in the world - which is a monumental work of art that honours our roots. It evokes memories of the Petrogal refinery in Lisbon, the BASF site in Antwerp, the Total refinery in Leuna, Germany, and how the size of our demolition work gradually expanded at the end of the 20th century.
From the 30-tonne machines that were common at the time, De Paepe switched to 50 and 85 tonnes. Unheard of. Bigger became the biggest and our demolition work reached an innovative climax. And when you reach the summit, you have to dare to take a new direction. It was the route to MG Real Estate.
And the rest is history.
20 down, at least 20 more to go.
It is safe to say that MG Real Estate has grown substantially over the past 20 years. From one challenge to another.
From nothing to more than 50 logistics, office, retail and residential projects. Over 1,000,000 sqm of guts and determination across 6 countries.
Thanks to demanding clients and an even more demanding team, we have literally and figuratively shifted boundaries.
And we want to continue on this path for the next 20 years. As far as we are concerned, with the same goal: creating sustainable quality in beauty.