Mitiska REIM has opened the most sustainable retail park in Belgium. Located in the city of Mechelen, Malinas retail park has been designed to be CO2 neutral and to achieve an ‘Excellent’ score on the BREEAM scale. The new Malinas development features 19 retail units and one restaurant across a gross leasable area of 27,500m². The retail park is food-anchored by the first Albert Heijn XL store in Belgium, in addition to a Lidl supermarket. Other tenants represent a mix of national and international brands, including AS Adventure, Vanden Borre, JYSK, Kwantum, Ava, MaxiZoo, 4Murs, Action and C&A.
In terms of sustainability and biodiversity, Malinas features an eye-catching 1.2-hectare reed field, which also serves as a natural rainwater buffer, and over 200 native trees have been planted on site. The entire rear wall of the retail park is covered by a 7-metre-tall eco-green façade and 13,000m² of the roof area has been sown to create a green roof. The roof area also features 6,300 solar panels which generate around 2.5MWP, the equivalent electrical requirements of 700 families, with excess solar energy stored in an onsite smart battery. The solar power generated will create annual savings of more than 1,000 tons of CO2.
Malinas is conveniently located at the exit of the E19 highway next to the main road into Mechelen and is easily accessible by car, public transport and bicycle. As part of the development, a new section of cycle track has been built to link to the city centre, with the site offering 400 covered bicycle stands with electric charging points. Parking is provided for 900 cars, 350 of which are underground, with 18 electric car charging points. The new scheme also meets the development needs of the city, with 7 retailers relocating to Malinas from an old factory building in Mechelen, which will now be redeveloped into residential housing.
Jan Du Bois, Investment Director of Mitiska REIM, commented: “We are proud to be a leader in sustainability by opening what is now the greenest and most sustainable retail park in Belgium. Malinas is a great example of a retail scheme that offers an attractive proposition for both retailers, shoppers, investors and the local community, but at the same time considers the environment and leads the way in terms of sustainability.”
Axel Despriet, Co-CEO of Mitiska REIM, comments: “Retail parks have continued to thrive on the back of their long-standing formula for success, based on convenience, essential shopping and value for money. Offering accessible locations, affordable buildings and flexible design, we believe retail parks remain an attractive and resilient asset class and are best placed to work in tandem with e-commerce for omnichannel retailers.”