Rotterdam can boast almost 600 new homes. Project developer City Pads, specialists in real estate makeovers, have transformed the former Admiraliteit offices into modern, high-quality housing for students and young professionals. The last apartments in the huge former office building (40,000 m²) were completed by ABB Bouwgroep on 1 February. City alderman Ronald Schneider officially opened the building on17 February. The transformation has given a great boost to the Admiraliteitskade, not in the least because of the new facade and the addition of an open base. Bouwfonds Investment Management acquired the project for its three European residential investment funds, the Bouwfonds European Residential Fund and the European Student Housing Fund.

Nieuwe Admiraliteit
Bouwfonds Investment Management acquired the old Admiraliteit building from City Pads in late 2014. ABB Bouwgroep then remodelled the building, creating the Nieuwe Admiraliteit in record time based on a design by Klunder Architecten. The Sliedrecht-based ABB Bouwgroep stripped the office building before rebuilding it. Lee Foolen, Director of City Pads: “This makeover marks a new step in the redevelopment of vacant office space. The transformation project in Rotterdam adds to previous successful projects in Eindhoven and Amsterdam, and is something we can be proud of. The building meets all our development concept requirements, namely to offer top quality in prime locations at competitive rents.”

‘Transformation’ is the buzzword
Bouwfonds Investment Management, the investor in the project, is extremely pleased to have this pearl in its portfolio. “Giving buildings a new lease on life through transformation fits perfectly in today’s world and in our investment philosophy. Plus which, it gives us – the investor – the opportunity to provide housing designed specifically for students and young professionals in good inner city locations, which are relatively rare,” says Michiel Dubois, Managing Director of Residential Real Estate Bouwfonds IM. It’s clear that the Nieuwe Admiraliteit is popular: all studios and apartments were let before the building was completed and the building was in full use from day one. Tenants have access to over 400 parking spaces, a large bicycle cellar accommodating more than 600 bicycles, three laundry rooms and two fantastic meeting points in the roof extension on the twelfth floor.

Ronald Schneider, alderman for Urban Development and Integration of the city of Rotterdam: “The municipality and market players have joined forces to cut back vacant space in the city and I’m delighted with the role played by City Pads and ABB Bouwgroep in revamping the Nieuwe Admiraliteit. ABB Bouwgroep took the risk of acquiring the 40,000 m² building even before we had adopted an appropriate zoning plan. In doing so, they showed courage and faith in our partnership. Transforming this huge office building into 587 residential units for young professionals dovetails nicely with our economic policy. Almost 350,000 m2 of unmarketable, vacant office space has meanwhile been given a new use.”

Director of ABB Bouwgroep Martin Visser: “Transforming an office building into just under 600 fully furnished apartments in less than a year is no mean feat and a great effort by all parties involved. The biggest challenge was to successfully navigate through the timelines and logistics. “The end result is something to be proud of: a seemingly brand new building that will have a positive impact on the area in terms of appeal and liveliness.”

Attention and acclaim
The Nieuwe Admiraliteit project has gained wide appeal throughout the Netherlands. Not only have tenants found their way to the building, but the project has also attracted national attention in recent months, with visits by people in the business, including the construction and infrastructure association Bouwend Nederland and the Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands, IVBN. It was recently announced that property developer City Pads has been nominated for a prestigious real estate award, the FGH Vastgoedprijs, winning acclaim for the Nieuwe Admiraliteit.

 

About Bouwfonds Investment Management
Bouwfonds Investment Management (Bouwfonds IM) is the real asset investment management company of Rabo Real Estate Group. We offer distinctive investment products for institutional and private investors in selected real  estate, infrastructure and natural resources sectors. Bouwfonds IM manages a portfolio with a total value of € 6.3 billion, distributed among the following sectors: commercial and residential real estate, communication infrastructure, car parks and agriculture. Bouwfonds IM has local offices in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Poland and Romania.

About City Pads
Having redeveloped over 280,000 m2 in the past five years, yielding 4,500 new homes, City Pads are the number one transformation specialists in the Netherlands. City Pads is an Eindhoven-based independent, risk-bearing real estate development company. It is part of the Foolen & Reijs Real Estate Group and has extensive experience in new build projects, student and other housing, and transformations of existing buildings.