TBI IN THE MARKET - Strengthen the market position
|Main activities||Market characteristics/ developments||Market areas/clients||Competences of TBI companies in the market|
Strong in housing, mixed functions and social property
TBI’s property developer, Synchroon, can look back on a good year. The company benefited from the strong housing market, especially in the centre and west of the country. Synchroon sold 864 housing units in 2016, 323 more than in the previous year. The order book for the current year is also well filled.
The company has seen an increase in competition, however, as more parties enter the market and municipalities put more projects out to tender. Synchroon nevertheless expects to strengthen its position because more people and businesses will move to cities in the coming years. The company has the right profile to respond to this trend.
Synchroon has built up a great deal of expertise and experience in sustainable urban area development over many years. The company has proven ability to develop creative urban solutions to transform complex locations and former industrial areas into desirable places to live and work in. Synchroon is a specialist in mixed-function developments that accommodate housing, work and entertainment. This creative approach, coupled with social awareness, know-how and experience, won Synchroon several good contracts in 2016.
CITY CENTRE REDEVELOPMENT
Although many shopping centres in the Netherlands are in need of renovation, such transformation projects are making little headway. Retail vacancies are still rising. On the other hand, demand for commercial premises close to public transport hubs is growing. Municipalities are tending to combine functions such as housing, hotels, restaurants and flexible workplaces in order maintain an urban centre’s popular appeal. Together with ERA Contour, Synchroon is building the Cadenza project in Zoetermeer. It is creating new bars, restaurants, 69 starter homes, a supermarket and a casino around an existing theatre, cinema and restaurants in the centre of the town.
Urban environments are attractive places for young professionals to live and relax. They are also popular among flexiworkers. More larger companies are also moving to locations with good public transport links. Municipal authorities are responding by redeveloping the areas around their railway stations. Breda is no exception. Together with J.P. van Eesteren, Synchroon is working on the mixed-function 5Tracks project in the city. Its design reflects the strong sustainability ambitions of both the area and the buildings on the one hand and the users and visitors on the other.
The station in The Hague is also being given a facelift. Together with Amvest, Synchroon was awarded the contract to redevelop Koningin Julianaplein. Two towers are being erected on this square in front of the central station. The project will house a congress centre, restaurants, shops and apartments, including starter homes and social housing. To increase sustainability in the city, the plans deliberately do not include standard parking spaces but large modern bicycle parking facilities will be built under the square. Mobilis and J.P. van Eesteren are also involved in the construction of this new ‘gateway to the city’. In November Synchroon was awarded the contract to develop part of station area the station area in Arnhem. The site, an important link between the station and the city centre, will be developed for housing and a hotel.
COMPACT HOUSING AT A PRIME LOCATION
The XS DeLuxe concept developed in 2015 is an example of the innovative solutions Synchroon offers. Demand for micro-apartments for one or two occupants at prime city centre locations is high. This concept is being applied in many of Synchroon’s new projects, for example in the redevelopment of Houthaven, Amsterdam’s former timber port. Synchroon is carrying out several projects at this location near the city centre. The future occupants of the 260 XS DeLuxe apartments it is developing will share certain amenities, such as a roof garden, wellness facilities, guest rooms and workspaces.
REDEVELOPMENT OF INDUSTRIAL AREAS
With only limited space to build in city centres, municipalities and developers have turned their sights to redeveloping industrial areas. Synchroon has been awarded several large contracts. ERA Contour began work on a variety of sub-projects for Synchroon in the former timber port in the west of Amsterdam in 2016. Parkblok Houthaven consists of four buildings with different housing types for families and starters. At nearby Haparandadam, Synchroon has developed Frame: luxury top-end apartments with panoramic views over the River IJ.
Interest in the apartments Synchroon is developing outside the centre is so high that there are more prospective occupants than apartments. One of the projects is Heroes on Zeeburg Island in Amsterdam. The project consists of three residential buildings (Gold, Silver and Bronze) with 151 apartments.
In May, Synchroon signed the management contract for the Wisselspoor Utrecht plan. The development involves the transformation of a former industrial site owned by Dutch Rail close to the city centre into an area of housing, creative business and bars and restaurants, while retaining the industrial heritage such as the former factory buildings and railway points and tracks.
Demand for new housing is high not only in city centres but also in suburbs. Developers are facing the challenge of building homes that are accessible to more people. In Karspelhof, a housing district in Bijlmermeer (southeast Amsterdam), for example, Synchroon is developing 150 affordable, climate-neutral homes to rent and for sale that are being built by ERA Contour.
Knowledge of area development is also very valuable outside city centre locations. In the landscaped parkland of the Madestein nature and recreation area on the south side of The Hague, Synchroon is working with area developer BPD and The Hague municipality on an exclusive housing project with a typical Hague look and feel. The first dwellings in the Vroondaal project were handed over in 2016 and phases 3 and 4 were commenced in the summer.
In Kerkebosch on the outskirts of Zeist, Synchroon is developing an exclusive small-scale project. The houses and apartments of Life in the Woods are integrated into the woods and heaths of the Utrecht landscape. Sustainability is an important factor in many of Synchroon’s projects but it is more important to some than others. Finest of Ockenburg , for example, in Kijkduin, The Hague, consists of a mix of energy-neutral apartments, villas and houses built in the dunes. They are distinctive for their use of glass, wood and natural materials. Heat pumps will ensure the 22 houses in the Wonen op Smaak project in Utrecht consume very little energy (an energy performance coefficient of 0). One of Synchroon’s partners in this project is Eneco, the energy supplier.
Growth at yoreM
The e-marketing firm yoreM performed well in 2016. The firm creates online property development websites and increases opportunities for co-creation by customers and developers by means of e-marketing. YoreM also seeks clients, advertises online and performs data analyses to produce detailed descriptions of potential clients. It works for the TBI companies and, increasingly, for external parties. Investors, housing associations and other real estate companies now make up half its clientele.
REAL ESTATE CONSULTANCY AND BUILDING MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION AND CARE
HEVO is an established name in the education sector. The property consultancy and management firm again performed well in this sector in 2016. The number of engagements in the care sector, however, did not improve until the end of the year.
HEVO has always been a prominent player in the education market. The order book for consultancy and building management projects is well filled. The economic recovery has boosted demand for risk-bearing project management (RPM). RPM is frequently requested for complex properties in the public, institutional and corporate sectors as it lets the client eliminate risks yet still exercise all its influence over the preparation and implementation process. HEVO is the contact point and bears final responsibility. RPM is also popular because it can measure sustainability ambitions and performance, something that clients are increasingly requesting.
The new premises for the IJsselcollege in Capelle aan den IJssel were handed over in December 2016. HEVO was responsible for RPM on this project.
HEVO has developed a cost configurator for new primary and secondary school buildings. It shows school boards and municipal authorities the budgetary impact of different quality standards.
The number of engagements in the care sector was again lower than the growing demand for new property concepts in 2016. Care institutions must manage their property portfolios more proactively and strategically, but they are relatively unfamiliar with the complicated procedures for new buildings and often have difficulty arranging finance.
HEVO redoubled its efforts in this market in 2016. At the end of the year it was awarded two large contracts for which it arranged external financing through a foreign investor. The Stichting Rendant care institution in Friesland engaged the company to design, develop and build two care buildings. HEVO will also be responsible for RPM.
In cooperation with ABN AMRO Bank, HEVO studied a sustainability business case in the care sector. It provided practical advice on how to improve the sustainability performance of care buildings using limited funds and soft financing conditions. The system can be applied more widely by the public and education sectors and will be worked out in more concrete terms in 2017.