Mons : Les Grands Prés
In Mons, the capital of the Hainaut province, City Mall built a shopping centre of 45,000 sq. m. close to the town’s historical centre and train station. ‘Les Grands Prés’ is a logical enhancement to the ‘Doudou’ city with its Carrefour hypermarket, its large cinema of 14 screens, its multi-purpose hall, its science museum, its 400 housing units and 2,800 parking spaces. The creation of the shopping centre led to the creation of 850 new jobs, with an additional 150 in the town centre. These new jobs are a consequence, amongst other things, of Foruminvest’/City Mall’s housing policy: indeed, the sum of €20 million went towards the renovation of buildings in the town centre and incentives for young shop holders to set up business in Mons.
Development : IKEA and retail park
In June 2012, IKEA officially announced its arrival in Mons. Today the first "cut of the spade" was made; the extension works of the parking lots have started and also the construction phase of the Atrium which is meant to make the link between IKEA, the shopping centre and the Carrefour Hypermarket. For the first time in Belgium, IKEA is associated with a shopping center; the store will occupy 35,000 sq.m. and will create 350 jobs. A retail park will also be built in the wake of IKEA and a parking lot of 1,600 places. Scheduled to open in February 2016.
Thanks to a meaningful and insightful redesign Les Grands Prés should stay on the top of the shopping center charts both at the Belgian and European level. The transformation will take Les Grands Prés to a rebalancing between two important poles : Carrefour on one side, IKEA on the other. The site will have a link with the city centre which will know a sustantial increase of visitors since the city of Mons was designated as the European Capital of Culture 2015.
During a recent press conference, City Mall explained that the extension of "Les Grands Prés" will allow the opening of 22 new shops on an additional surface of 6,000 sq.m. In order to reinforce the synergy with the city centre, City Mall will acquire simultaneously several buildings in the main commercial artery and redesign them in commercial ground floor and first floor units about 1,200 to 1,500 sq.m which correspond perfectly to the actual demand in the sector. City Mall's aim is to revitalize a city centre where owners do not wish to make the necessary transformations to seduce the big brands.