The canal-side shopping centre Docks Bruxsel in Schaerbeek will next year open Belgium’s first Lego fun-park, De Tijd reports.
The attraction will be operated by the British Merlin Group. Lego has fun-parks in Germany, Japan and the US.
The park will be an indoor variant of the traditional amusement park, and take up 3,100 square metres of space inside the shopping centre – space previously occupied by Media Markt.
The circumstances make it impossible to include a roller-coaster or water slide. “But there will be a train passing through,” said Peter Todd, CEO of Portus Retail, which is co-owner of Docks Bruxsel.
“In addition, there will be video games, 4D cinema attractions, games and virtual reality experiences. The indoor park that Merlin is developing especially for Docks will later also be launched elsewhere in the world. Unlike classic amusement parks, it can be open all year round, even in bad weather.”
The combination of clothes shops and a fun-park may seem an odd one, but Todd sees it as an evolution.
“The time when you could open a store and just wait for the customers to come is over,” he said. “You have to give consumers a reason to come by. People spend money where they spend time. That is, where they work, live or spend their free time. Docks wants to focus on that.”
The Docks site already houses offices, including the head office of Danone Belgium, and there are houses under construction.
“There is a lot of catering, a cinema and soon the Lego park,” Todd said.
The plan is clear: bring people in, and keep them in.
“You can spend a whole day with us: a few hours in the Lego park, something to eat, to the cinema, some shopping. The Lego park only extends our reach, as it attracts people within a two-hour drive. That is to say: all of Belgium. Today we mainly attract an audience of Brussels residents, tourists and people from Flemish Brabant.”