With its inauguration scheduled for October 20th, 2016, in one year to the day, the countdown started on Tuesday for Docks Bruxsel, the largest retail site in the Brussels region since the opening of City 2 in 1978. On this occasion, promoters of the new development, which will include shops, cultural and leisure activities, restaurants, and productive activities, organised an open day for Brussels regional and local authorities to visit the worksite.
Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, Brussels Minister for the Economy Didier Gosuin, as well as Brussels city Mayor Yvan Mayeur and aldermen Philippe Close and Mohamed Ouriaghli were present. They openly welcomed the implementation of a project contributing to the redevelopment of the area north of the canal, which should result directly in 1,000 new jobs and indirectly in 1,000 more, offered by Actiris to residents of the capital first.
The first retail spaces will be made available to their future occupiers, including managers of the future 8-screen cinema complex, by next March. Keys to the last available spaces will be handed out by June.
According to Docks Bruxsel officials, 80% of spaces have already been allocated, and discussions are under way for 10% more. Docks Bruxsel is the first of 3 shopping mall projects hoping to take over this area in the north of Brussels and its surroundings, to be implemented so far.
For Philippe Close, the next project is the Neo shopping centre in the Heysel area. Legal hurdles delaying its implementation will soon be overcome. The future Heysel shopping mall will not compete with Docks Bruxsel, and will probably be the only one built in the medium term, explained the alderman, adding that he did not expect the huge Uplace shopping mall project in Machelen to ever be built.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)