New eco-friendly retail park in Mechelen

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Didier Van Den Eynde

Mitiska REIM, the specialist investor in European retail parks and convenience centres, has inaugurated in Mechelen MALINAS, the most sustainable retail park in Belgium. With green roof, green facades, green leases, solar panels, smart battery - as said by Jan Du Bois Investment Director at Mitiska- the complex is designed to achieve an ‘Excellent’ score on the BREEAM Official scale. Mitiska REIM entrusted the commercialization to Cushman & Wakefield to create and gather on a gross leasable area of 27,500 m2, a mix of 19 shops including the first ever Albert Heijn België XL supermarket in Belgium. This new retail destination should create around 300 jobs.

Axel Despriet, Co-CEO of Mitiska REIM, comments: “Although the retail sector overall faces a number of challenges, we are continuing to see high demand for retail parks by both retailers and shoppers, and for new developments which are well-thought-out projects in good locations. What sets retail parks apart from city centre and shopping mall locations is their easy accessibility combined with lower rents and associated charges. In addition, retail parks also offer larger retail spaces and abundant free parking, making them well placed for retailers to maximise their online ‘click and collect’ strategies.

These brands have choosen Malinas to open a new shop: 4MURS, A.S.Adventure, Action, Albert Heijn - first XL supermarket in Belgium -, AVA, Babydump, C&A, Eggo Kitchen & House, JBC, JYSK, Kwantum, Leen Bakker, Lidl, Maxi Zoo, Overstock Garden, Pro-Duo Sleepworld, Vanden Borre and X2O Badkamers.The local brewery Het Anker will operate one restaurant on the site. Quares will be in charge of the property management of this retail park.

Environnement friendly

The retail park features an eye-catching design, including a one hectare section of open reed land on approach, with the site surrounded by over 200 native trees and the entire rear of the building covered by a 7m tall eco-green facade. The roof area is covered by approximately 7,000 solar panels, generating an electricity capacity of around 2.5MWP, the equivalent electrical requirements of 700 families, which will generate annual savings for the retail park of more than 1,000 tons of CO2.

The centre has a dedicated exit/entrance on the N16 highway. The park provides free parking for 900 cars and 400 bicycles. It is linked to the city of Mechelen by a cycleway and a tunnel for cyclists is to be constructed under the ‘R6’ road.