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Docks Bruxsel

Docks Bruxsels a development by Equilis
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The Challenge

Our client Equilis aimed to develop a new shopping centre of ± 49,000 sq m in the north of Brussels. There is a lack of quality commercial space in that area of Brussels, and the area suffers from a negative image. Our role was to: 

  • Accompany and advice the developer on the financial feasibility of the project, the ideal layout of it and the best commercial mix given the nature of the area in which the project will be developed
  • Lease the complete shopping centre of 120+ stores spread over 2 levels
  • Sell the project after completion

The Solution

Define a methodology based on the 3 pillars that identify the project: 

  • Positioning of the project as “urban chic”: need to attract a new urban generation
  • Location in a specific area of Brussels Capital City: the canal side that has been “neglected” these last years creating, among others, a lack of commercial offer, which means that potential customers will have to change their shopping habits
  • Multicultural area that has a very interesting future, thanks to an important demographic evolving over the next 5 to 7 years, but it also suffers from a negative image due to lack of security

We undertook research to assess the upstream retail position for the area: 

  • First, we undertook a deep analysis of the architecture of the project and advised on some modifications in order to improve the pedestrian flows and the commerciality of the project.
  • Secondly, we defined what was the optimal rent roll based on the current economic situation, the demand for that part of the city and the existing situation.
  • Finally, we defined the ideal commercial mix for this shopping centre, in accordance with the existing commercial mix of that area of the city, the characteristics of the potential clients of the shopping centre, and started the negotiation with the potential tenants. The priority was to focus on the anchor tenants. It is also very important to focus on international brands, not yet present in Belgium, in order to differentiate from other shopping centres and to position Docks Bruxsel as an unique shopping experience.

The Results

Docks Bruxsel opened on 20th October 2016 and it is almost fully let. Anchor tenants such as Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Mediamarkt, H&M and Match really convinced many retailers of the success of this project. 

Thanks to the huge work of our team in convincing the right tenants, we managed to attract high scale brands such as Michael Kors, Liu Jo, Superdry, Guess, River Woods, IKKS, Maison Scotch, … making of Docks Bruxsel an Urban Chic destination and realizing our main objective. 

Docks Bruxsel is not only a shopping experience but also has number of food and leisure retailers, such as indoor entertainment (Koezio), as well as spaces for cultural exhibitions and a cinema, offering customers the ultimate experience!