Feraggio: a elegant and comfortable pump

Whenever Juliette de Vries visits the Italian factory where her creations – the Feraggio pumps – are made, she’s welcomed like a long-lost friend. The local craftsmen are proudly manufacturing…

Whenever Juliette de Vries visits the Italian factory where her creations – the Feraggio pumps – are made, she’s welcomed like a long-lost friend. The local craftsmen are proudly manufacturing her Feraggio shoes; they’re handmade with the highest-quality suede.

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Kindercampus Zuidas: Playful learning

The Zuidas area in Amsterdam is an inspiring environment undergoing rapid development. People work here, people live here and children go to school here. Kindercampus Zuidas is an integral education…

The Zuidas area in Amsterdam is an inspiring environment undergoing rapid development. People work here, people live here and children go to school here. Kindercampus Zuidas is an integral education centre offering child care, elementary education and after-school care services.

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You need to know what expats want

Ruben Feenstra (39) grew up in the Zuidas area. When he was young he spent a lot of time playing tennis on the courts that made way for the current…

Ruben Feenstra (39) grew up in the Zuidas area. When he was young he spent a lot of time playing tennis on the courts that made way for the current offices and apartments. These days he helps expats find suitable housing and he advises various parties on the kind of living space expats are looking for. After fifteen years in this business he’s become quite an expert.

“This area means a lot to me as it’s been my playground for such a long time”, Ruben says. “You could find me on the tennis courts here every day as I played top-level tennis from age 10 to 21. So you can imagine this place is full of nostalgia for me.”

When he was twenty-three, Feenstra called time on his tennis career and started working for Rotsvast Amstelveen, a real-estate agency specialized in long-term rentals to expats. Six years ago, Feenstra and his business partner Ewoud Cossee took over Rotsvast Amsterdam-Zuid and Amsterdam-Centrum.

Budget for housing

Rotsvast rents apartments and houses to expats looking to stay here for a period of one to five years. “Not too long ago expats would stay for five to seven years, but companies are rotating staff quicker between countries. What used to be one period of five years has now been cut into two sections of 2.5 years.”

When he was twenty-three Ruben Feenstra started renting apartments to expats

Another big chance is the other party he is dealing with. “Fifteen years ago, our clients were mainly multinationals looking for living space for their employees. These days the rental market is much more transparent due to websites such as Pararius. It is more and more common for employees to arrange their own housing using a budget allocated by their company. On the other hand we do a lot of advisory work for home owners wanting to rent out their property and for investment companies building apartment blocks.”

Advising property investors

Ruben Feenstra Rostvast

Ruben Feenstra PHOTO: DONALD VAN HASSELT PHOTOGRAFIE

Ruben likes his advisory role. “In this market an investor or developer needs to offer a competitive product. This means we can work with nicer rental properties that are better tailored to the needs of the market. And that makes our job more dynamic and fun.”

He talks to other parties about development and lay-out of a property or an apartment block, what kind of services should be offered and what people expect for their money in a particular area. “We love working together with leading property investors. For example, we’re involved in 50 high-end design apartments at various A-locations in town belonging to investment company Prowinko.”

“We also participate in the De Terrassen complex in Amstelveen, a new development with 134 luxury apartments owned by the RJB Group. De Terrassen is tailored to expats and will open in July this year. We manage the whole rental process of these projects together with Eefje Voogd Makelaardij.  We’re really happy working with them. We complement each other and it’s a fun clash of company cultures.”

Far-reaching service

The building management department of Rotsvast is going to take care of all services for De Terrassen. “That involves the entire daily management of this complex but we’ll also be the point of contact for other property owners. At the moment, we have three people working full-time to manage services for around 300 apartments. Sometimes we are asked to fix a vacuum cleaner that doesn’t work because the bag is full or we get a call in the weekend urging us to please come over and explain how the dishwasher works”, Ruben says with a smile.

After fifteen years in this line of business, Ruben knows what expats want. There is not a big difference between expats and locals but there are a few cultural things to take into account. “Japanese people want a bathtub in their house; they won’t even look at a property that doesn’t have one. Indian and American expats are genuinely surprised that Dutch houses have so few bathrooms and toilets. The Japanese want a rice cooker, Indian expats need a powerful blender to make curry.”

‘Japanese people won’t even look at a property that doesn’t have a bathtub’

Another big difference are the housing prices. Generally, housing for expats is more expensive although the difference is getting smaller. “The apartments of the new projects we work on are in principle available for everybody. We see more and more often that Dutch young professionals are willing to pay 1,800 euros for 60 sq.m2 (645 sq.ft) if this means they get a nice apartment in a good location. Whereas ten years ago, only expats would pay these prices.”

Relatively affordable

Ruben sees a bright future for ‘his’ Zuidas. “You can see the dynamic changing. In the early days there was not much to do here and at night it was pretty dead. But now there is a good mixture of different functions, which makes the whole area much more vibrant.”

When it comes to the appeal the area has for expats, Ruben doesn’t worry at all. “I’ve rarely spoken to a client who didn’t like it here. The living conditions are great. Dutch people are open-minded and they all speak English. The quality of living is high: there are lots of green spaces and excellent facilities. Housing in Amsterdam is relatively affordable, even though the perception among locals is that real estate prices have gone through the roof given the 50% increase in the last six years. But there are at least 30 thirty cities worldwide that are more expensive than Amsterdam. An Australian banker who has lived in cities all over the world recently said to me: ‘For the quality of your city, your prices are a joke’.’’

 

Rotsvast Amstelveen
Amsterdamseweg 185
Amstelveen
T 020 503 6560

Rotsvast Amsterdam
Johannes Verhulststraat 30
Amsterdam
T 020 662 7662

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Meeting or event? Do it in style at the Rosarium!

The Amstelpark. Perhaps the nicest park in Amsterdam, even though it’s not very well known. The same could be said about event venue Rosarium and restaurant Parker’s, just as beautiful…

The Amstelpark. Perhaps the nicest park in Amsterdam, even though it’s not very well known. The same could be said about event venue Rosarium and restaurant Parker’s, just as beautiful as the park and also flying under the radar.

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Luxury Ani Ani Beachwear

Whether you are looking for a smaller bikini bottom and halter top or rather a shorty with bandeau top or maybe a stylish bathing suit, Ani Ani Beachwear offers more…

Whether you are looking for a smaller bikini bottom and halter top or rather a shorty with bandeau top or maybe a stylish bathing suit, Ani Ani Beachwear offers more than 200 possible combinations of exclusive beachwear, to make sure you feel pretty and confident on a sunny day. 

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Window-cleaner at the Zuidas: Risky Business

Together with his colleagues, 54-year old Rinse – a certified window-cleaner working for Ruitenheer Gevelonderhoud – makes sure all residents and visitors of the nine towers of WTC Amsterdam can…

Together with his colleagues, 54-year old Rinse – a certified window-cleaner working for Ruitenheer Gevelonderhoud – makes sure all residents and visitors of the nine towers of WTC Amsterdam can enjoy the magnificent views. A rewarding task but not one without risks.

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Real estate agent Mossel: ‘Living on Zuidas is populair’

Ramón Mossel started his own real estate agency 15 years ago. He’s seen the Zuidas develop into a part of Amsterdam where living space is getting increasingly scarce. You’ve been…

Ramón Mossel started his own real estate agency 15 years ago. He’s seen the Zuidas develop into a part of Amsterdam where living space is getting increasingly scarce.

You’ve been a real estate agent for 15 years now. What has changed in all those years?

Amsterdam has become much more international due to the city promoting itself more and global companies opening offices here.

Has your role as a real estate agent changed well?

More and more often I find myself in meetings giving advice to project developers looking to build a new complex. That’s a very nice part of my job. I know exactly what people want and that makes me as a real estate agent interesting for different parties.

How would you describe the current housing market in Amsterdam?

There’s a serious housing shortage in Amsterdam. The city has a couple of very nice neighbourhoods with a strong identity and the city council is pretty good at urban renewal. It’s just a shame that there’s an acute shortage in all segments of the housing market. We need a change in policy!

Zuidas is a populair place to live

What position does the Zuidas have?

Makelaar Ramon Mossel

Ramón Mossel FOTO: Wesley Bergen Fotografie

The Zuidas gives this city an international look and has developed into a dynamic area with a high level of facilities and allure.

Who would like to live here?

Me! I’m moving here very soon. And I notice that young families want to stay in Amsterdam, including the Zuidas, instead of moving to a semi-detached house with a garden outside the city. They’re looking for a large energy-efficient apartment with panoramic views and a big balcony or terrace.

What is the appeal of the Zuidas?

The international feel and a fantastic geographical location. All the facilities you need are nearby and the terrific Gelderlandplein shopping mall is just around the corner.   

Prices of houses on Zuidas

What about the house prices in the Zuidas area?

Prices of 10,000 euros per square metre are not an exception. Only Amsterdam’s Oud-Zuid quarter is more expensive: 14,000 to 15,000 euros. So it’s only a small step towards the 20,000 euro mark, like Cor van Zadelhoff predicted in the previous edition of this magazine. Moreover, Brexit is going to be a reality very soon and the percentage of home ownership in Amsterdam will decrease even further.

There is also some social housing in this area. Is such a mix good for the Zuidas?

Around 60% of the housing stock in Amsterdam is social rental. The Zuidas is an area with ambitious developments and international aspirations. You could ask yourself if social housing is what we need here and whether there should be any new construction in Amsterdam at all. What the city needs are rental apartments in the middle segment.

It must be a wonderful time to work as a real estate agent.

It’s always been fun to be a real estate agent! At the moment I try to convince stakeholders in the market to think in concepts. The customer journey changes and it is important to adjust to their changing needs. Turn-key houses are the future. Internationally, this is already a proven concept.

How do you see the Zuidas in 10 years’ time?

I’m convinced that 10 years from now the Zuidas will be the prime residential and business area of this city. The Zuidas is a very welcome addition as it gives Amsterdam an international look. However, the city should show a bit more swagger and raise the bar a bit higher, for example by extending Zuidasdok with Zuid/WTC Station.

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TailorMates: ‘Men are more sexy in costume then naked!’

TailorMates is located at George Gershwinplein, right in the heart of the Zuidas. It was here that Ronald Gans opened his flagship store four years ago and he wouldn’t have…

TailorMates is located at George Gershwinplein, right in the heart of the Zuidas. It was here that Ronald Gans opened his flagship store four years ago and he wouldn’t have wanted to start this journey anywhere else. “I’ve seen the Zuidas being built, and most of Buitenveldert as well.”

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Behind the scenes of the traumaheli from VUmc

There’s a yellow helicopter, the Lifeliner 1, parked on the roof of the VU medical center in Amsterdam. VUmc was the first hospital in the Netherlands with a helicopter and…

There’s a yellow helicopter, the Lifeliner 1, parked on the roof of the VU medical center in Amsterdam. VUmc was the first hospital in the Netherlands with a helicopter and a Mobile Medical Team (MMT). They’ve been saving people’s lives for 23 years now. Fenny Dunning, chief nurse, and Marcel de Leeuw, chief doctor and medical coordinator, tell me the story behind this special team.

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Did you register for The Zuidas Golf Date?

The Zuidas is going to get its very first golf tournament: ZUIDAS Golf Date. On June 7, the Golfcentrum Amsteldijk will be the place to be for socializing and networking…

The Zuidas is going to get its very first golf tournament: ZUIDAS Golf Date. On June 7, the Golfcentrum Amsteldijk will be the place to be for socializing and networking – starting from 5.30 p.m., the event is open to players of all abilities: from experts to those who’ve never held a golf club before.

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