Real Estate

In my vision, real estate and area development play a crucial role for the competitiveness of cities and regions. Economic clusters and ecosystems have proven to be essential in attracting and connecting talent and innovative companies. It is essential that all stakeholders work together to continuously create a context in which talent, startups to grownups can take the next step into the unknown.

Despite the fact that we are now more than ever experiencing the potential of digitization, we are experiencing the necessity to physically meet and work together. Facilitating these knowledge creation processes through real estate not only provides depth, new ideas and crossovers, but also a higher connection to organisations and in the end a higher quality of life. How do we develop the cities and buildings of the future?

My work

I enjoy working at the intersection of economics, ecosystems and real estate development to develop and realize new visions and concepts for the future. If you have a unique challenge in area development or real estate development, I would be happy to work with you.

For example:

  • Develop and implement visions, concepts and strategic action plans for area development, such as innovation districts
  • Developing and realizing concepts for real estate, such as innovation hubs
  • Develop visions and portfolios for investment funds
  • Developing and guiding innovation programs for future developments.

Below you will find a selection of my projects.

My role:
Developing the vision and directing the process by:

  • Integral analysis of the regional economy and relevant (real estate) developments and trends
  • Conducting strategic discussions with stakeholders
  • Creating future-proof scenarios and concept vision
  • Co-creating 3 inspiring concepts for testing the vision in collaboration with ArchiTech Company,
  • Making an integral vision definitive
  • Develop a strategic action plan for the realization of the vision
  • Creating commitment and coalitions

Broad commitment to the ambitious vision, concepts and actions to position the city of Dordrecht (and region) in the top 10 of innovative cities in the Netherlands in the next 15 to 20 years.

New coalitions and actions to realize vision.

* The vision is currently in the process of final decision making within the municipality of Dordrecht.

Developing innovative concepts with parametric design

We have developed a number of concepts for the development of the vision of working in the city center of Dordrecht. The aim was to make the vision concrete and to test it.

A total of 3 concepts have been developed based on 4 future scenarios. The concepts were developed by my in close collaboration with stakeholders.

The innovative architectural firm ArchiTech Company has translated the concepts into the spatial environment. By working with computer models based on variables ('parameters'), the first optimal designs have been created and the client and partners have quickly gained insight into the opportunities for the future.

Shaping an impactful future together.

City of Zwolle, developing innovation district in central station district

The Zwolle region is the 5th largest economic region in the Netherlands and has the ambition to establish itself in the main economic structure of the Netherlands, next to the regions of Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam. When developing the Spoorzone area south of the station, the Municipality of Zwolle asked me:
'How do you develop Spoorzone Zwolle into an (inter)national innovation district?'

Together with the team of the municipality of Zwolle, I performed the following activities:

  • Analyzing the innovation ecosystem and the potential to transform Spoorzone into an innovation district.
  • Develop a strategic action plan
  • Creating commitment at anchor companies and the city council
  • Developing an economic profile and embedding the vision in the area plan, Station Area development framework
  • Supervising the setting up of a triple helix organisation (business, education and government) to accelerate the development of economy and culture
  • Guiding, deepening, challenging and testing the area plans of project developers and other stakeholders
  • Supervising the development of a joint brand for the innovation district.

The result is a embedded vision and organization to transform the area into an (inter)national innovation district.

ICAMAP,  developing a cutting edge investment fund for real estate in the Netherlands

The international investment company ICAMAP wanted to create a breakthrough in the real estate market by developing a forward-looking fund ICAFUTURE to accelerate innovation in real estate.

Together with the technology-driven architectural firm ArchiTech Company, I have a vision and potential portfolio with innovative concepts as the basis for the fund.

My role:

  • Developing a vision and strategy
  • Market exploration for potential promising areas and places
  • Developing innovative concepts in collaboration with Architech Company

The result was a clear proposition for investors with an underlying portfolio of promising and progressive projects. Also, one of the unique elements was to work with digital assets, which ensured acceleration and flexibility in the development of real estate over time.

HOLT, Developing a innovative concept for health living together

A city in a forest is one of the radical design principles of HOLT, a new design for the ALO location in Groningen. Looking back 30 years from now, hopefully this will be the new standard. The benefits for the climate and healthy living are enormous. In an interdisciplinary team we have developed the innovative vision and concept 'healthy living for everyone'.

Our strategy is that the development has a leverage effect on the economic and social environment for the health cluster around the Martini Hospital.

I am proud to be part of the interdisciplinary team led by project developer MWPO and architects such as Powerhouse and Vector-I, with whom we won the tender.

My role:

  • Analyzing economic environment, developments, trends, opportunities and barriers
  • Shaping vision, concept and thus the strategic core story
  • Developing economic and social program
  • Connecting stakeholders and specifically the Municipality of Groningen
  • Raising ambitions with new ideas and anchoring them in spatial translation by architects

Shaping an impactful future together.

Dutch Growth Factory, developing a innovation hub for High Tech scaleups

The challenge was to develop an international hub for scaling up innovative production companies (scaleups) and R&D projects of multinational organizations (grownups). On my own initiative - together with partners - I made a vision, concept and business plan for a former fruit warehouse in the Rotterdam Makers District, Dutch Growth Factory.

I have also developed an innovation program with my team as an accelerator for grownups.

The result was a unique concept for scaling up innovative manufacturing industry in the Rotterdam region.

SuGu Club, developing and growing an innovation hub for startups and scaleps in the creative and high tech industry.

The challenge was to develop a creative hub for scaleups to accelerate the development of the Rotterdam Makers District.

Together with partners I realized the vision, concept and realization of the innovation hub in the historic workshop (1929) of a power plant.

Part of our growth strategy was the development of the larger Galilei Makers Park plan.

In a short time we have connected a unique mix of high-quality creative and high-tech entrepreneurs to our concept and positioned SuGu as one of the leading innovation hubs in the region.

An investor has been found for the innovation hub to further expand the concept and the hub will be further developed as a creative hub under the name Steurgebouw.

Let's work

[email protected]
+31(0)6 51 51 83 77
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Chamber of Commerce: 73831158

VAT: NL176434562B01

Guus Balkema Strategy Business Development Ecosystems