With Zuid, the urban district around the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Zurenborg is unique in Antwerp in that it is one of the few city districts developed according to an urban plan at the end of the 19th century.
The new district reflects the growing wealth of Antwerp, linked to the growth of port and commercial activities.
The northern – the largest – area of Zurenborg, centred around Dageraadplaats, was mainly developed for the middle class, while the southern area, around Cogels Osylei, was mainly intended for the well to be made.
The eastern corner, which currently includes a bus station of the public transport company and an energy transfer station, was more dedicated to industry and logistics, including a gas plant and a terminal station of a regional tramway system.
Engetrim, a development and construction company, was the leader in the development of Zurenborg.
Zurenborg used to be an agricultural area dominated by an estate owned by the Osy family.