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Kinepolis cinema to stay at Heysel for new Neo project
Cinema multiplex Kinepolis will remain at Heysel and become part of the development of the new Neo shopping and leisure complex. The cinema chain signed an agreement yesterday with the three potential developers of the complex.
Former Brussels City mayor Freddy Thielemans introduced the Neo development and is the chair of the company that manages the existing complex. The city will own half of Neo, while the other half will be owned by the Brussels-Capital Region.
In addition to Brussels Expo and now Kinepolis, Neo will include a convention centre, a hotel, shopping and leisure facilities and a residential area with 750 units. The cost is estimated at €1.2 billion; construction is scheduled to start in 2017 and take three years.
Océade and Mini-Europe, currently part of Bruparck with Kinepolis, must leave the site to make way for Neo. Kinepolis feared the same fate, but the agreement now makes it possible for it to stay. Kinepolis opened on the site in 1988, the largest cinema in the country. It was renovated in 2009 and now includes 27 screens and more than 6,800 seats.
In related news, work on another major leisure and shopping development will begin in April, according to Carl Mestdagh, CEO of the Docks Bruxsel complex. That development, formerly known as Just Under the Sky, will be located close to the Van Praet bridge over the Brussels-Charleroi canal in Laken. The opening of the centre is planned for 2016, Mestdagh said.
photo courtesy Jerry Pank/Flickr Commons