ULI Belgium and ULI Netherlands Young Leaders: Amsterdam City Tour
March 15, 2018
On 23-24 February, ULI Belgium and ULI Netherlands Young Leaders participated in a study tour of Amsterdam. The 29 participants represented a wide variety of real estate professions, including investors, property managers, lawyers, and marketing professionals. The visit focused on the city’s main hubs for growth and innovation in real estate: Amsterdam Zuidas and Amsterdam-Noord.
Zuidas is the main axis from Schiphol airport to the city, with the Amsterdam-Zuid train station at its heart. Mr. Ton Schaap, Amsterdam’s chief urban planner, presented the city’s plans to build an extended underground highway, create a green “lung” around the current train station, and further expand the already impressive mixed-use constructions. He also discussed how the city works with project developers to create well-designed high-quality buildings.
OVG Real Estate welcomed the group with a guided tour of The Edge (the most sustainable office building in the world), and went on the present the company’s newest project: The Valley. This project will be the largest mixed-use construction in Zuidas, including a shopping gallery, a theatre, exhibition spaces, offices, a hotel, apartments, and a rooftop “sky bar” (at 100m altitude). The project, which is scheduled to complete construction in 2020, has already been sold to a private investor, who plans to let out the apartments at rental prices starting at €25/m²/m.
Next, the group was welcomed at the head office of ABN AMRO, located in their showcase meeting and exhibition centre “The CIRCL”, a wood-structured building made entirely from recyclable or recycled materials.
Attendees also learned about student housing in Amsterdam from the COO of The Student Hotel Group, who detailed the company’s €500 million investment strategy across Europe. The Student Hotel Group offers students and short-term residents an easy solution for housing, co-housing and co-working spaces by allowing some 40% of the rooms to be rented to hotel guests, thus minimising the cost of staff and maximizing the return per square meter across all seasons.
Real estate developer AM presented their “friends concept”, allowing friends or relatives to share an apartment whilst benefiting from government subsidies. The group also had the chance to learn about the transformation plans of the “Bajes Kwartier”, the conversion of an old prison site of 3,5ha to a housing and mixed-use development with communal green spaces and soft transport modes.
Attendees then toured the Sir Adam Hotel, a musically-themed hotel that is home to rock stars and film legends whenever they visit Amsterdam. The hotel is located in Amsterdam Tower, home to both Sony Music and Gibson Guitars, and features amazing views of the water and the old city.
The study tour was co-organised by the Young Leaders groups of ULI Belgium (Philippe Verschorren, manager of a private real estate portfolio) and ULI Netherlands (René Tim, Acquisitions, Vesteda and Galyna Permyakova, Transactions Manager, Patrizia AG).
Participation was free of cost for all members and sponsored guests, except for a (discounted) room night at the Student Hotel City Centre.