With a budget of 15 million euros, Firce Capital wants to revitalise the Belval Plaza shopping centre with new brands, redesigned facilities and a "food hall" unique in Luxembourg.
After the announcements, it's time for the realisations: the Belval Plaza shopping centre is beginning its transformation with the arrival of new retailers, but also the creation of new facilities, including, from spring 2023, a 2,500m2 "food hall" with ten or so retailers located on the second floor of the complex next to the Belval-University station.
"We want to offer a different dining experience from other shopping centres, with the possibility for everyone to taste the dish selected in the shop of their choice; everything will be served at the same time to the occupants of the table," explains Romain Muller, managing director of Firce Capital, with enthusiasm.
Its owner since March 2020 has planned a budget of "between 12 and 15 million euros" to revitalise the 37,150m2 centre. With 6.8 million annual visitors, it aims to reach 8 million by 2023.
Family customers targeted
"My greatest wish is that the public will develop a positive image of the Belval site", says the Luxembourger who, surrounded by real estate professionals, has redesigned the site "to adapt it to today's needs".
No longer a labyrinth of escalators and staircases, it is now time to make the route more fluid and optimise the space. This is illustrated by the work in progress on the first floor of Belval Plaza 1, not far from the Saturn shop. The latter will be redesigning its identity as Mediamarkt and its presence via an L-shaped cell. A team of six workers is closing a hopper and removing a seven-ton escalator. "This is our first large-scale project in Luxembourg and we are delighted to contribute to the extension of this shopping centre," explains Geoffrey Riss, works manager for Celux.
At the end of the centre, on the side of the Kinepolis, whose lease has been renewed, the entrance to the cinema has been reorganised while, on the right-hand side, the fitting out of a 400m2 daycare centre is underway. From the end of this year, Hello Kids should be open to children from the age of 3 during the centre's opening hours.
"We want to adapt the Belval experience to a family audience," says Romain Muller, who is not forgetting another key segment: the train users who pass through the complex every day. Next spring, Post will open a point of sale, as well as the parapharmacy chain Medi-Market. From the summer onwards, the City of Esch is expected to move into Belval Plaza 2 to open a Bierger-Center, located opposite the checkouts of the Delhaize supermarket.
The shopping mall also intends to develop its service offer, with the arrival next spring of two "personal shoppers", a new mobile application and a website, allowing brands without a virtual presence to be listed there.
Fashion and home furnishings in focus
With 77 retail units spread over two buildings linked by a footbridge overlooking the Avenue du Rock'n'Roll, Belval Plaza has attracted new retailers in recent months, including Claire's, Slumberland, Dida Kids, La Boutique du Coiffeur and Sidestep.
12 cells (including 9 in Belval Plaza 2) currently remain vacant, but contacts are going well according to the owner, who has a rental rate of 96.5% for the first building and 87.5% for the second. He is not hiding his interest in fashion brands, but also in household goods, a segment that is under-represented in the south of Luxembourg.
In terms of mobility, work has been undertaken to refresh the 1, 200 space parking . A request for proposals for its operation will soon be launched, says Romain Muller. "The site has suffered in the past from the absence of direct access to the highway, which is a major political failure," he laments. A massive project that this time is not the domain of Firce Capital. He is already looking at Belval Plaza 2, which could also be given a new look by 2024 or 2025.