Mitiska REIM commences construction on 'most sustainable' retail park in Belgium

Mitiska REIM, a specialist investor in European retail parks and convenience centres, has begun construction works for a new retail park in the city of Mechelen which, on completion, aims to become Belgium’s most sustainable retail park.

In addition, the new retail park development, named Malinas, will be the location for Belgium’s first  XL store by Albert Heijn, the largest Dutch supermarket chain. 

Scheduled for completion in October 2021, the Malinas development will have a gross leasable area (GLA) of 27,500m2, featuring 21 retail units and free parking for 900 cars and 400 bicycles, and will create over 200 new jobs.

The park has been designed to achieve an ‘Excellent’ score on the BREEAM scale and will feature 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 seven metre tall eco-green facade. The roof area will be 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.

Axel Despriet, Co-CEO of Mitiska REIM, says: "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.”

Jan Du Bois, Investment Director of Mitiska REIM, says: "The response from retailers to the new Malinas development confirms the ongoing attractiveness of the retail park concept. With still a year to go until opening, 75% of the retail park is already let to brands which in addition to Albert Heijn XL include Lidl, AS Adventure, Jysk, Vanden Borre and Maxi Zoo.”