The owner of the building, CBRE Global Investors, is convinced that there will continue to be demand for office space, especially in Zuidas, and that the demand for office space will continue to grow. Research also shows that there is still a shortage of appropriate (office) space. Through this expansion project, CBRE Global Investors also want to make the most of the Zuidasdok project, which is currently under construction and which will improve the accessibility of the central area of Zuidas even further in the years to come. As a result, Zuidas will remain an attractive location that start-ups, scale-ups and large companies will be eager to locate in. The focus of investors is on more than just quantity, here: above all, they want to achieve quality improvements in WTC Amsterdam.
An outstanding opportunity
The possible expansion is a great opportunity for CBRE Global Investors to take the WTC complex to the next level. The oldest parts of the WTC date from the 1980s. A possible extension to the south will be an opportunity to modernize the building, make it more and improve accessibility with the city and surrounding public spaces. Architect Ron Bakker of PLP will take account of the ways in which office usage is changing, both now and in the future. His design focuses on large, open spaces with plenty of light.
Fianne van der Veeken, the municipal project manager for Zuidas, agrees that all this development work is not always pleasant for people living and working in the area. ‘The Irenebuurt, for example, is a relatively quiet residential area right next to a rapidly developing Zuidas. Unfortunately, all these changes on the skyline can lead to disruption and inconvenience. But despite this, expanding the WTC complex is consistent with our ambition to make Zuidas into a lively urban district. An area where there is room for living, working and recreation. A neighbourhood that does not feel separate from the rest of the city, but which is truly part of Amsterdam.’
A new location
If it goes ahead, the extension of the WTC complex will stand right next to Amsterdam Zuid station. Once the Zuidasdok project is completed, this will be a major gateway to the city and an important public transportation hub. ‘In addition, there is room for higher-density development in this part of Zuidas, so that offices and residents do not need to look beyond the borders of Amsterdam’, says Van der Veeken. ‘So adding more capacity at this location is not only consistent with the ambitions of Zuidas, but also with those of the city. Once the new pedestrian passage at Amsterdam Zuid station is open, this will be a completely different area, giving the Mathijs Vermeulenpad a totally different character.’
An attractive environment
We at the City of Amsterdam want to keep everyone who lives here updated on the planning process and we are aiming for a BLVC plan that has as much local support as possible. Then we can do our best to minimize the inconvenience caused by the construction work. In addition, with every new development project, we create a brand-new public space. The same applies to the space around the WTC, of course. ‘The idea here is to create a seamless open space that is inviting, includes lots of greenery and places to sit’, explains Van der Veeken. ‘At the moment, Mathijs Vermeulenpad looks a bit messy with lots of bicycle racks, parked mopeds and areas for goods vehicles. In the future, we want to make this into a more appealing area that will blend in seamlessly with the new-look Amsterdam Zuid station and the WTC complex itself. So this development will also bring some real benefits for local people.
An online information evening will be held on 19 April, at which Zuidas, the investor and the architects will explain their plans for the WTC complex. We look forward to discussing these with you and, of course, there will be opportunities to ask questions.