HOFPLEIN 19: Revamped and future-ready
TEXT: ANTOINETTE STAS | PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTIM
Hofplein 19 stands majestically at the heart of the city. The building is a perfect fit with Rotterdam’s raw, authentic and unique style. After standing vacant for years, this historic cornerstone of Hofplein has been completely renovated and is now, once again, equipped for the future.
Sixty years ago, this building was one of the first to be constructed at Hofplein. Mirrored glass was added in the late eighties to give it what was then considered a modern look. Fortunately, the clear glass has been restored and the building has regained its original transparent character.
The building, located along one of the most well-known streets of Rotterdam, consists of an expansive basement, ground level and nine additional floors. “Hofplein 19 has been completely stripped and built anew. Also, we worked with a construction team that we put together personally,” tells Menno Verhoeff, Head of Real Estate at PPF Real Estate that owns the building. “High quality and sustainability were central to the renovation. All certified wood, full LED lighting and high-quality insulated glass came together beautifully. The technical installations are all state-of-the-art, and a special energy-management system regulates the temperature – the summer’s heat is stored for use in winter, and the cold of winter is stored for summertime. The A-label certification we were given was a piece of cake!”
Verhoeff is justifiably proud. He explains that the building is rented by the floor. “Each floor covers more than 1,400 m2 of office space. We deliver each ‘as is’, but the client can customize for his desired floor plan, with partitions or even an internal staircase. Seven floors are currently still available, although not for long. We’re on the verge of signing with several serious candidates. Our brokers expect Hofplein 19 to be full by the end of the year. It’s an iconic building and a nice place to work. The ceilings are nearly four meters high and large windows allow for a bright, pleasant working environment. Not to mention the great view of the best city center around. I must confess, I’m not objective. I lived in Rotterdam during my studies and the city stole my heart, as did football club Feyenoord. So, in May 2017, when the enormous Rotterdam flag hung from the building and Feyenoord won the championship, it was just incredible!”
Since the delivery of the building in October 2018, various tenants have already moved in, like well-known hospitality entrepreneur, Ron de Jong, whose restaurant Fontein opens in June. The lobby at the ground floor is complete with a reception and restaurant. LaatBloeien has settled into the 1st and 2nd floor, with its own entrance and internal staircase between floors. Verhoeff: “This building has everything you could wish for in a modern office. From Starbucks and the Shell station beneath the building to the showers and the rooftop bar. Also, right next door at Spaces you can book meeting rooms, find additional parking and there are plans to add charging stations for electric cars.”
Verhoeff sees great opportunities for Rotterdam Central District: “It’s a convenient location, just a stone’s throw away from Rotterdam Central Station, with highways and Rotterdam The Hague Airport nearby. And although the corner around Hofplein 19 was neglected in the past, new developments are in full swing, vastly improving the activity and liveliness of the area. The municipality is planning to renew the streets and create bicycle parking. The collaboration with the municipality on the Hofplein 19 and 20 projects has been going very well.” PPF Real Estate, also owner of the Millennium Tower and Hofplein 20, is part of the RCD Association. “A membership that has clear added value,” says Verhoeff. “Even among competitors there is a feeling of comradery. In the end, we all share the same goal: a bustling Rotterdam Central District. For entrepreneurs and investors alike, this is the place to be in Rotterdam.”