Les Grands Prés, Mons: opening of the 1st extension




All the pictures in our Photo Gallery

– 10 February 2016 –


Today, the major event is the opening of IKEA. The next major event for Les Grands Prés, in other words the inauguration of the extension of the shopping arcade, is planned for early September. This extension is mainly situated to the east, where the restaurants are located.

Today, however, it seemed essential that we mark the inauguration, in the IKEA part of the complex, of a first part of our extension. It has a dozen shops which, for the most part, will open at the same time as IKEA. In a way it is a pre-opening of the extension. In this part of the project that we refer to as the westerly – or IKEA – part, City Mall has, on behalf of the owner UNION INVEST, created the atrium which forms the link between the new IKEA and the Grands Prés shopping arcade.

The arrival of IKEA inside a shopping arcade is an extremely unusual situation; not to mention a first in Belgium. “Next to the Atrium, we have also added the dozen shops located in front of the IKEA checkouts, some of which are the result of the reorganisation of the former Krëfel, henceforth divided into 4 new shops.”

Shops in the town centre/shopping centre.

City Mall and the city of Mons have always shared the desire to maintain a coherence between the shops in the town centre and those in the shopping centre. As was the case in 2003, today, at a time when we are developing new shops in the Grands Prés, we are also investing in the town centre. As a reminder, in 2003, the operations went ahead thanks to the investment fund that we had put together with the intermunicipal IDEA, but also with REDEVCO and in partnership with the city of MONS where FORUMINVEST – to this date a financial partner of CITY MALL in Les Grands Prés -, had invested 7.5 million € in the renovation of old buildings, but also in the support given to around forty independent businesses to set up in the heart of the city. Today, CITY MALL is going back to its old ways because in the place of a well-known building in the pedestrian district, the Group is investing, between acquisitions and building work, more than 7 million € to create almost 1,400 m² surface area of which 1,000 m² is set aside for retail. This building will be completely rebuilt all the while respecting the façades and will have two shopping levels.

The announced arrival of new shops such as Primark in the pedestrian district, is very good news because these big names will enable us to revitalise shopping in the town centre and encourage complementarity between the two commercial areas. It should be noted that the city’s policy and its determination to bring in investors has proved to be very efficient. City Mall – of which it is the slogan – has always defended the idea of a winning City and this is naturally still the case today. The strength of the Grands Prés, with its shops, its new Carrefour hypermarket which has been a very positive surprise due to the quality of its restructuring, and now the arrival of IKEA, is capable of attracting millions of consumers. We think the goal of 8 million visitors is realistic and should also be of benefit to the town centre.

Jérôme HUON, Project Director

In the WESTERLY – or IKEA – extension, CITY MALL has developed a new atrium of +/- 1,500 m² making it possible to create a link between IKEA and the shopping arcade, a first in Belgium. This Atrium is directly served by a three storey car park with 1,500 parking spaces, the other extremity is connected to external parking. The Atrium is linked to the gallery via two malls. The first is the one we are already familiar with and which ended at Krëfel, which has expanded and will be located inside the retail park constructed by IKEA. The second is a new shopping arcade which extends from the Carrefour façade and today serves, to left and right, a dozen shops, including the four shops of the former Krëfel leading to the windows of IKEA. This fresh configuration will provide visitors with a brand new way of moving around the WESTERLY extension of the gallery.

The new shops which are setting up in the westerly extension:

BLEU LIBELLULE – COMPTOIR OPTIQUE – POMELO – MEDI-MARKET – DI – RITUALS – PARTY FIESTA – JETAIR – LEONIDAS – TWICE AS NICE.  Today, just one outlet remains vacant; so everything is virtually complete for the opening day, even if two shops (Jetair and Medi-Market) will only open their doors once they have been fully fitted out. In a month or so all the outlets will be occupied. I am taking advantage of this opportunity to thank all the retailers who have been extremely patient and continued to put their trust in us during this period of upheaval.


The new plan for Les Grands Prés Mons is:

100,000 m² of constructions spread over:

  • 100 retail shops in the gallery
  • An IKEA of 35,000 m²
  • A reorganised CARREFOUR of 18,000 m²
  • The IKEA Retail Park of 12,000 m²
  • 4,200 free parking spaces
  • A new motorway exit
  • Major real estate investments:
    – in 2003: + than 90 million € (for the historical shopping centre with the hypermarket)
    – in 2016 : almost 135 million € (City Mall, IKEA) to which can be added investments made by the owners
  • Jobs created in 2016:
    – 650, of which 350 directly IKEA and 50 indirectly IKEA
    – 100 future retail park IKEA
    – 150 extension of galleries (westerly + easterly)
    In other words 1,500 jobs to the total with the 850 existing jobs