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03 March 2021

Hoeksche Waard gets boost with large-scale, modern business campus

AG Real Estate Corporate

A large-scale, modern business campus will soon be built on part of the former sugar factory site of Cosun Beet Company. The land has been purchased by AG Real Estate in partnership with Heylen Warehouses.

A large-scale, modern business campus will soon be built on part of the former sugar factory site of Cosun Beet Company. The land has been purchased by AG Real Estate in partnership with Heylen Warehouses. The new investors see many opportunities for the location as well as for the municipality of Hoeksche Waard in Zuid-Holland. The growth in business activities will give a boost to employment and the economy in the region. Attention to infrastructure and facilities, safety and sustainability are central to the development plans for the campus, where construction will get under way this year.

The municipality of Hoeksche Waard, the province of Zuid-Holland and Cosun Beet Company completed the land-use plan for the redevelopment of the site of the former sugar factory in 2018. The investor-developers AG Real Estate and Heylen Warehouses took over the site jointly in December 2020. Part of the site has in the meantime been turned over to the buyers ready for construction and the first building permits have been applied for. The delivery of the rest of the site and the infrastructure works are expected to follow by the end of 2021.

Local, national and international

After the purchase, AG Real Estate and Heylen Warehouses rechristened the site SHIPP 21. Wim Heylen, owner of Heylen Warehouses: "SHIPP 21 stands for 'South Holland Inland Port Puttershoek 2021”. This name speaks volumes about the ambition. The modern, large-scale campus will accommodate small and medium-sized local, national and international companies operating in logistics & transport, e-commerce, cold and deep-freeze storage, the manufacturing industry and maritime supply and maintenance. Cosun Beet Company will also remain active in Puttershoek, with its current factory for sugar specialities, silos and distribution centre. Forty of the sixty hectares purchased is to be used for business development. The remaining land will be used in particular for the construction of new roads and green areas.”

Growth of employment in own region

Many residents of the municipality of Hoeksche Waard depend on companies in and around cities such as Rotterdam or Dordrecht for their employment. The arrival of new companies at SHIPP 21 will lead to a significant increase in employment in their own region. This will offer opportunities for work closer to home for many of the 25,000 commuters who now leave Hoeksche Waard every morning, thereby saving them valuable time in commuting while simultaneously having an impact on CO2 emissions. In addition, the road network will be decongested.

Less traffic congestion and more safety for Puttershoek residents

The location of SHIPP 21 just south of the Port of Rotterdam is favourable for transport. The site lies between two motorways and directly on the Oude Maas waterway. These were important considerations for the promotors to invest. CEO of Heylen Warehouses Ralph Caspanni: "The A16 and A29 are easily accessible via the N217 nearby. We are creating a new connection in an effort to optimize the link between the N217 and the campus. This will mean less traffic congestion for the residential area of Puttershoek and more safety for the residents. We expect to start construction in mid-2021. In the meantime, we are looking into possibilities to modernize the existing docks on the site. Transport to and from the Rotterdam port with inland navigation vessels is actually more efficient and more sustainable than with trucks."

Minimal ecological footprint

The possibility of transport by water is one of the plans to minimize the ecological footprint of SHIPP 21. Cosun Beet Company is currently building a solar farm with solar meadows next to the campus that will probably make its operations carbon-neutral as of May this year. The other part of the solar meadows is owned by the Klimaatfonds [Climate Fund] and Greenchoice. They expect to be able to supply sustainable energy to the public grid as of June. Solar panels will soon be installed on the roofs of the companies in collaboration with Heylen Energy, so that the campus can provide for its own energy needs. Once all the roofs are equipped with panels, +/- 30.000 MWh/year will be generated.

Successful cooperation

The successful cooperation between Heylen Warehouses and AG Real Estate is continued through this purchase, with potential for expansion of the joint real estate portfolio of high quality logistical and (semi-)industrial properties. Marc Van Begin, Chief Financial Officer at AG Real Estate confirms: "Our joint venture with the Heylen Group, which started 5 years ago, has enabled us to expand our logistics portfolio in a remarkable manner. The considerations we have shared with them have confirmed our choice of diversified, sustainable and responsible investments, in line with our CSR policy. In this way, we are giving extra meaning to the projects of our teams and meeting the challenges of tomorrow."

About AG Real Estate

AG Real Estate, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AG Insurance, is an integrated property operator active in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and on certain select European markets with expertise in different lines of business: Asset & Property Management, Development & Construction Management, PPP and real estate financing, as well as in Car Park Management through its subsidiary Interparking. A company active in urban real estate, AG Real Estate has more than 250 employees with varied profiles and areas of expertise.

With a portfolio of more than €6.5 billion under management for its own account and on behalf of third parties, AG Real Estate is endeavoring to provide a responsible response to new urban needs and to implement a sustainable development policy as to make its projects even more meaningful.

About Heylen Warehouses

Heylen Warehouses develops and invests in high-quality logistic and industrial real estate projects at home and abroad. The entire chain, from development and construction to management and maintenance, is handled in-house with our own people and in-house expertise. The projects are kept in our own portfolio as much as possible. A 50/50 Joint Venture was set up with AG Real Estate years ago for this purpose. Investments are made through this Joint Venture in logistics real estate in Belgium and the Netherlands. AG acts as investor. Heylen sees to the development and implementation of the projects and to the management of the buildings in its portfolio. Heylen Warehouses has a long term vision and cultivates long term relationships with its clients.

www.heylenwarehouses.com

Roxane Decraemer
AG Real Estate Corporate

Roxane Decraemer

Strategic Marketing, External Communication & PR Manager

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Aurore Moens
AG Real Estate Corporate

Aurore Moens

Communication & PR Manager

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