South of Rotterdam
1 The Question
In the middle of next year, after 130 years, the iconic margarine factory from South Rotterdam will disappear. The factory along the Nassaukade, at the end of the Feijenoord district east of the Erasmus Bridge, is making way for a large-scale inner-city housing development.
A unique environment, in the past more than a hundred years mainly with an industrial function, which in recent years has been increasingly transformed into a beautiful, chic place to live along the Maas. The Municipality of Rotterdam also saw potential at this location when it announced the departure of the margarine factory. In view of the housing shortage that also affects Rotterdam, residential construction was more obvious than to retain its industrial function. Cushman & Wakefield was involved in the sale to VORM as a sales advisor. Not in an 'everyday' way or in a 'standard' sales process.
2 The Approach
The sales guidance required a substantiated vision of the future of this place and its interpretation in relation to the city. A location with a special history and unique aspects such as the prominent, direct location on the Maas. In anticipation of the sale, Cushman & Wakefield has carried out an extensive study in which the potential of the use of the site in relation to market demand and the large, complex spatial planning task of the city has been explored.
Social, economic and local interests have been carefully mapped out, weighed up and tested on the basis of market data and knowledge for desirability, feasibility and future-proofing. Both quantitative and qualitative data have been used as a basis to inventory various new programmatic interpretations and to calculate them financially.
In concrete terms, various interpretations were explored, ranging from homes, offices, commercial space, (urban) logistics to retail, and tested against current and future market demand and needs. The outcome of the study obliged all parties to take well-founded, strategic decisions and the outcome of this was subsequently submitted to and agreed with the Municipality of Rotterdam. With a team of specialists in various disciplines – from Strategy & Innovation, Valuations & Advisory, Industrial & Logistics to Capital Markets – the sales process was then thoroughly set up.
3 The Result
This sale preparation has led to a sustainable potential interpretation that is in line with the policy ambitions of the Municipality of Rotterdam on the one hand and the social and economic interests for the area, users and residents on the other. A knife that cuts both ways because the data-driven substantiation is an optimal prelude to the zoning plan amendment process and has ensured optimization of the sales proceeds for the current owner.
We are looking forward to the iconic city district that VORM wants to develop on this 24,000 m2 former factory location on the Nieuwe Maas. A project that, in close collaboration with the municipality of Rotterdam, will lead to a new future for this more than one hundred year old work location. We are proud of the added value that we have been able to deliver as a professional services company in various phases of the sales process and with various stakeholders and we are pleased with the trust we received from the seller to carry out this extensive, socially and economically sustainable study with the result of guiding and realizing the sales transaction.