Despite the economic slow-down, the commercial property market in Brussels has still been seeing a certain dynamism since the start of 2002. The first four months may have seen an end to the deals for selling off the old Marks & Spencer, but expansion has been a policy pursued by a number of other retailers.
Some months ago, Marks & Spencer quit Belgium and Luxembourg. The British chain left behind five locations waiting to be snapped up: their marketing was entrusted to Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker. The file has now been finally closed. In a first significant move, the Dutch investor, Prowinko, took over the last of the Antwerp properties last November, on the Meir, and in Rue Neuve in Brussels. In the harbour city, M&S was quickly let to H&M and Bershka (a store brand of the Inditex group). The Swedish company also seized on the M&S store in Wijnegem, which it will share with Girls Fashion (a brand developed by the JBC group). In Brussels, Hema and Mexx have seized the opportunity. The former is leasing 2,700 sq m, and the latter 2,900 sq m In LiÃ¨ge, the old M&S store is to be incorporated into a project to redevelop the Galeries Saint-Lambert, being carried out jointly by Immobel and ING. Finally, in Luxembourg, Zara (1,350 sq m) and H&M (2,000 sq m) will be slipping into the British groupâ€™s shoes.
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(source: Cushman Wakefield)