Krachtstation Kanaleneiland project wins ABN AMRO Social Involvement Award

Press release -

ABN AMRO Head Office

The Krachtstation Kanaleneiland project in Utrecht has won the fourth edition of the ABN AMRO Social Involvement Award. The prize was awarded yesterday during the PROVADA real estate exhibition at Amsterdam RAI, for the transformation of a former Regional Training Centre (ROC) to a multifunctional complex. This social real estate project, achieved without subsidy, offers local businesses and residents an accessible means of renting space or starting a business.

The ABN AMRO Social Involvement Award rewards real estate operators who use real estate in an imaginative way to help create a better world. They are sustainable initiatives in which real estate plays a supporting role. The four most appealing and inspiring projects were picked out in a preselection process to deliver a pitch at the ABN AMRO stand during PROVADA. The winner was chosen by a public vote and by a three-person jury, which included Richard Kooloos, Head of Sustainable Banking at ABN AMRO. Commenting on the Krachtstation Kanaleneiland project, Richard said. "This is a true example of a project that was launched and driven by the passion of the local community itself. It is a project in which the building offers a means of reinforcing social cohesion. It’s an example of committed citizens grasping an opportunity to do something powerful for their neighbourhood." 

Krachtstation Kanaleneiland received a majority of votes both from members of the public and the jury, and took the top prize of 2,500 euros. Second place, with a prize of 1,500 euros, went to the Stadsherstel project, in which a dilapidated church in Zaandam was converted into a residential facility for young people with autism. Third place was shared between the project 'B. Amsterdam', involving the conversion of an empty office building into a platform for creative businesses, and Collegepark Zwijsen, which created 116 owner-occupier homes in a former secondary school; each project was rewarded with a prize of 1,000 euros.

Krachtstation Kanaleneiland

What makes Krachtstation Kanaleneiland special is that the concept was created in close cooperation with the local community. Before the transformation, future residents were given the opportunity to get involved in return for a 10% discount on their rent. The facility was initially used to house refugees, but now Krachtstation Kanaleneiland provides a home to students and local businesses. “It is a special combination of real estate in a multicultural neighbourhood, which was achieved with the support of social investors”, said Nathan Rozema, who first came up with the concept. “We offer all kinds of facilities for living, working, entertainment, sport and education. For example, we provide homes for 217 young people who have a room in the complex, as well as commercial space for small businesses”.

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