The city of Brussels is moving ahead with uptown redevelopment. Up next: the make-over of the shopping district Toison d’Or/Boulevard de Waterloo. The architectural brains behind this project envision creating a central area linking Toison d’Or and Boulevard de Waterloo while keeping fluidity of movement in mind.
Allow us to explain how this redevelopment will enhance the shopping experience and attract more consumers, beneficial to present and future retailers.
The city of Brussels has the ambition to turn the Boulevard de Waterloo and the Avenue de la Toison d’Or into its own Champs-Elysées. The architectural plans put mobility first, with the development of an extended pedestrian zone and bi-directional cycle lanes. Car traffic will be limited and the vast majority will pass through underground tunnels.
Liveability is another important factor of the redevelopment project. The city will therefore foresee a wide promenade with benches, pavement cafes and more greenery.
The shopping district of Toison d’Or and Boulevard de Waterloo is strategically located. Thanks to that, retailers can reach different target audiences and/or market segments. Toison d’Or now targets the middle class and Boulevard de Waterloo the upper class. Chaussée d’Ixelles, situated close to Toison d’Or, typically attracts the mass market segment. Louiza square, on the other hand, is known for its design and more upscale brands, targeting upper middle-class consumers.
Throughout the years, the Avenue de la Toison d’Or has become a flagship store street – similar to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Four years ago, Cushman & Wakefield was in charge of the rental of retail spaces, and was able to attract major national and even international brands to Toison d’Or. You can find one of the biggest Zara shops of Belgium there, the only Apple store in the country, the very first shop of Asics and the flagship store of AS Adverture.
Furthermore, the new layout foreseen in the redevelopment plans could stimulate shopping traffic. The creation of a pedestrian zone in a shopping district has proven to be successful. Look at Chaussée d’Ixelles. And when you have a pedestrian zone with extensive food & beverage options, you really have the winning combination. The more so because it’s in the proximity of the Egmontpark & Warandepark. Perfect for consumers planning a nice day trip to the capital to do some shopping.
Based on our expertise in retail real estate, we believe the upper town of Brussels will benefit from the redevelopment of the Boulevard de Waterloo and Avenue de la Toison d’Or. Only, of course, if car traffic, parking facilities and accessibility are handled efficiently. The new layout corresponds to the current trend of consumers making a complete day trip out of their shop outing. In addition, because of its strategic location and the presence of many flagship stores, the shopping district will attract many different types of consumers. A good thing for present and future retailers!