Union Investment invests in shopping center in Mons/Belgium (DE/BE)

Union Investment is investing around €69.7 million in extending the Les Grands Prés shopping center in Mons, Belgium. The complex currently offers 17,820 m² of retail space and has been part of the portfolio of the open-ended real estate fund UniImmo: Europa since 2004.

Les Grands Pres_interior

The opening of the new space is scheduled for the end of 2014.

The extension, which will be developed by Foruminvest BV/City Mall, will add a further 8,649 m² of shop space to the property. The opening of the new space is scheduled for the end of 2014.

The fact that IKEA has chosen Les Grands Prés as the location of a new store will give a long-term boost to the shopping center in terms of footfall. The IKEA store, which will be connected to the shopping center, will cover approximately 34,000 m².

Les Grands Prés currently has around five million visitors per year; the arrival of IKEA is expected to secure an additional two million customers. In addition, around 1,510 new parking spaces will be created as part of the overall project.

Union Investment will utilize the enlargement of the catchment area to generate additional revenue by expanding the range of shops. Expansion and restructuring of the space is expected to generate extra rental income of some €4.5 million a year.

"The arrival of IKEA and extension of the shopping center will reinforce the position of Les Grands Prés in the wider region for the long term," says Dr. Frank Billand, a member of the Management Board of Hamburg-based Union Investment Real Estate GmbH.

"Foruminvest and City Mall are looking forward to work again with Union Investment by developing this Extension of the successful 'Les Grands Prés' shopping center," says Michael Riaskoff, CEO of Foruminvest.

Les Grands Prés shopping center was opened in 2003. Comprising 17,820 m² of retail space, the galleria is let to a total of 71 tenants, including chains such as H&M, Zara, Esprit and Mango. An 18,400 m² Carrefour supermarket is located inside the shopping center, but does not form part of the Union Investment holding.

"With its well-connected position in Mons on the E-19 motorway between Brussels and Paris and its strong catchment area, the shopping center fits Union Investment's investment criteria to perfection," says Dr. Billand.

Source: Union Investment Real Estate GmbH

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