05 June 2018

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Bouwinvest’s Residential Fund is to acquire 350 free market rental homes to be developed in a regeneration of part of the historic 42.5-hectare former Hembrug munitions complex at Zaandam, near Amsterdam.

The Bouwinvest fund’s investment supports a project spearheaded by ABC Planontwikkeling, which acquired 30 hectares of the former industrial site from the Dutch state and plans to transform it into a lively residential neighbourhood facing onto the main North Sea Canal and Voorzaan waterway. Of the 1,000 homes of varying sizes and prices planned to be developed there, a substantial proportion will be social or free market rental housing.

Allard van Spaandonk, CIO Dutch Investments at Bouwinvest, said: "As a global investor Bouwinvest finds metropolitan areas particularly attractive because they benefit most from demographic and technological change, outpacing national growth rates. The same trend is true for the Amsterdam metropolitan area. Hembrug offers great potential as a unique place to live, due to its location and a regeneration programme that will bring a mix of uses while preserving the green character of the area and respecting the integrity of this historic site.”

The Hembrug site has been transferred to ABC Planontwikkeling, who will, in cooperation with L.I.F.E., transform the terrain into a mixed, lively area located between the centre of Zaandam and Amsterdam. Where 1000 homes will be delivered of which the Bouwinvest Residential Fund, as institutional investor, will buy 350 free sector rental properties.

Hembrug site: from enclosed enclave to bustling area
About 1000 residences are expected to be built on the site, varying in size and price range, Bouwinvest will invests in about 350 free rental-market homes. The Hembrugterrein is 42.5 hectares, of which the new owner has purchased 30 hectares plus approximately the 70 buildings on it. The ambition is to preserve the existing buildings as much as possible.

Development vision
Aside from the investment by Bouwinvest, ABC Planontwikkeling has joined forces with developers L.I.F.E. (and SENS Real Estate) in a “co-creation” approach to redeveloping the Hembrug site. This will involve local stakeholders and input from a network of real estate specialists in shaping the plans for the area. It will be the first time that a development project of this scale will have been undertaken in the Netherlands using this approach.

Marcel Loosen, director of ABC Planontwikkeling: "We intend to develop the Hembrug site in a new way. Working with local residents and business community of entrepreneurs we aims to create a place where people want to be: an urban environment with green streets, where living, working, learning, culture and leisure go hand in hand. We have high ambitions when it comes to sustainable energy supply, water management, mobility and the recycling of materials and waste."