Shops, various small companies and workshops – in a nutshell, the new interpretation for the former V&D building in the centre of Eindhoven.
The plans were presented on Tuesday evening. There will be two shop formulas on the ground floor of the building. Clothing shop, Costes, previously indicated that it would like to rent space here.
On the four floors above, Microlab will take up residence. Currently, Microlab is based at Strijp-S. There it rents out some 800 flexible workplaces to 230 small businesses. These include metalworkers, architects, business service providers, and creative agencies. “We have been looking for extra spaces in a vibrant environment for some time. This is that space. More than 400 people will have a great, inspiring workplace there”, Rik Visser of Microlab explains.
To meet all the needs of these companies, Microlab’s four floors will be given their own ‘look and feel’. Visser: “If you run a company with five people, you have one consulting room and one coffee corner. It ‘s all a bit sparse then. Here, everything will be shared. All the facilities are there, and they are great — good meeting rooms, a sky bar, restaurant. We already do that at Strijp-S, and we are going to do it at our new location”.
‘Less financial risk’
When V&D went bankrupt in 2016, the massive building on Vrijstraat was left vacant. Discussions were held with Hudson’s Bay department store. These were not successful. The building now houses the Warehouse of Innovation, but that is temporary. “A department store in such a large building is somewhat outdated, we think”, George van Hooijdonk, of the real estate investment company, MN, says. MN owns the building.
“We had to look for a different interpretation. Shopping and offices are the best options, according to studies. And with multiple tenants, we run fewer financial risks.” The group also looked at converting the old V&D building into apartments, but that plan was eventually scrapped. “We would not have been able to make good use of all the space. There is also too little daylight for this, deeper into the building”.
The former V&D building will also have a completely different look. The building will be stripped, and will soon look more transparent, with lots of glass. Visitors to the city centre will then be able to see what is happening in the building. The roof will have plants too.
Editor: Melinda Walraven