The apartments will be housed in former KPN offices, opposite the Province Building
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Leeuwarder Courant, both Post Plaza (who operate the Post Plaza Hotel) and Slokker Vastgoed would like to convert the huge red-brick KPN Building on the Tweebaksmarket in Leeuwarden into student apartments and hotel rooms.
Due to digitalisation, KPN (who provide telecommunications and internet services) only require a very small part of the building, which has provided an opportunity to both Post Plaza- who would like more hotel rooms- and Slokker Vastgoed.
The student apartments won’t be the usual cupboard rooms, either, says Jan Watze Zijffers, of Slokker Vastgoed. “We want to make self-standing apartments”, he says. These would take the form of studios with both bathrooms and kitchens. The studios would average about 23 square metres, says the development website. Slokker hopes to complete the necessary work for incoming students in 2022.
Unsurprisingly for one of the poshest parts of the Frisian capital, around 50 local nimbys have penned a letter against the student apartments.
“We would like to reach about 150 hotel rooms”, says Herman Schreuder, Director of Post Plaza. At the moment, the hotel has 82. Schreuder hopes that building work can begin at the start of 2021, so that the new rooms are available by the end of that year. The façade of the building won’t change hugely, whilst at the rear a courtyard garden and covered walkway to the main hotel building will be installed.
According to current predictions, tourists in Leeuwarden will more than double by 2030; though these forecasts were made before the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Aside from this, we want to make sure that an empty building can have a function again. It’s good for the city, too, with local restaurants also benefitting from more guests”, said Schreuder.