Building a Bubble and teaching how to do so

On June 19th TuDelft Real Estate students presented their REDESIGN strategy for the Weenapoint in Rotterdam. Students designed a strategy for the five buildings and the surrounding public space, based on an analysis of stakeholders? aims and goals, market research, technical possibilities and the land use plan.
Great strategies and great presentations valued by a jury of professionals.
I am proud of my students.
What do we teach them?

Let me frame the case and relate it to the bigger picture.

  • The old buildings on the Weena plot used to have a floor space (GFA) of about 55.000 m2.
  • The zoning plan has a maximum floor space of about 110.000 m2.
  • The buildings will be sustainable.
  • The developer needs to build the maximum to make his total redevelopment profitable.
  • Adding more than 100% GFA.

This is reasonable form the viewpoint of the developer. On his ?little spot?.
What if we look to the bigger picture?

  • In Rotterdam about 25% of the office space is empty and the same can be said about retail.
  • It is no better in the rest of the country where 8 to 13 million m2 office spaces are empty.
  • The same can be said about retail, industrial buildings, car show rooms, monuments etc.
  • There is a lot of financial investment potential in the real estate market pushing refit but also new developments forward, like Weena.
  • High end locations in the country, like Zuidas Amsterdam and Rotterdam Central Business District are profitable and attractive for (foreign) investors.
  • Year after year we add a large amount of space to a market of emptiness.
  • Even if the quality of single buildings is sustainable all developments added up are not.

Are we creating the next real estate bubble?
Are we creating a new problem, driving us away from a sustainable society we really need or is it all about the money and profits of small developments?
What do we teach our students?

  • To design sustainable strategies for the little spot!

What should we teach our students?

  • To design strategies for the bigger picture?

What is your opinion?

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