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This afternoon, the first symbolic ground was broken in Groot-Bijgaarden in preparation for the new retail and business park that is to be constructed. The property developers Mitiska REIM and BVI.BE started with the construction of a retail and business park in Groot-Bijgaarden (Dilbeek) under the name “Dansaert Park”. The building work began on 1 July 2014 and the retail park is scheduled to open in March 2015.

The building project consists of two parts. There is a retail area, a development by Mitiska REIM, with a GLA of 8,500 m² (100% rented) with 225 parking spaces and tenants such as McDonald’s, Ava, Hunkemöller, Zeb, Torfs, JBC, E5-Mode, Bio Planet, Pizza Hut and Jims Fitness and there is an SME business park of 9,500 m² (including 35 SME units) that is being developed by the property developer BVI.BE. The sale of the SME units is being managed by the property agent Structura Business Property. A total of 16 million euros has been invested in the project and it aims to create 125 new jobs.

After the opening speech by Jan Dubois (director of Mitiska Ventures N.V.), it was the turn of Mayor Willy Segers who talked about the importance of the project and also the signature of the charter to promote the Flemish character of this project. The project manager and the municipal government also congratulated each other on how well they had worked together. Incidentally, at the request of the municipal government, both developers provided park & ride parking on their own grounds with 55 parking spaces and a cycle shed for tram passengers who make use of the MIVB terminal located in front of the project site.

The surrounding homes along Petrus Bayensstraat, are also being provided with a green buffer that consisting of an inclined area with vegetation along the street and a green rear view for the restaurant building that looks out onto a number of backyards.

A passageway has been provided from Petrus Bayensstraat for pedestrians and cyclists.

For people who may be thinking about the last “green area” that is disappearing in Groot-Bijgaarden, we have to contradict this as there used to be a brickwork on this site. After this was demolished, the site turned into grazing land. In 2008, Mitiska entered into a purchase agreement with the owners of the site (which was still the company “Briqueteries de l’Ouest NV”). In 2011, this site was finally re-zoned by the Flemish government for mixed industrial use.

This ended at around midday. Mayor Segers, Alderman Quaghebeur, Alderman Van Hove, honorary mayor Platteau under the watchful eye of the project developers Jan Dubois and Michel Meers placed a small symbolic excavator machine in the ground to symbolise the ground breaking. Then all present were pleasantly surprised by a Barbecue provided by Dilbeek butcher, Finesse. Now the countdown to March 2015 begins for the official opening of the retail park. This is a splendid project for the largest municipality in Flemish Brabant.