Update: On Thursday, the City Council unanimously agreed to the plan to realise student houses on the site, states D66. Whether there will be more than 600 student houses is still unclear. D66 does hold that 600 is the minimum number they want to see build.
A developer has started working on a building plan. To make the project profitable, senior citizens’ homes and family homes will also be built at the Brainpark, in addition to the cheaper student homes.
The shortage of student accommodation has been rising for years. The number of students in Rotterdam is growing every year and is expected to continue in the coming years. 86 percent of student accommodation in Rotterdam is too expensive. In short: the demand for affordable student accommodation is huge and growing.
The municipality of Rotterdam is proposing turning Brainpark I business park into a residential area. Some of the offices will remain, while other buildings will be converted into residences. According to the plan, 2,500 to 3,000 homes could be built, including six hundred student houses. Brainpark I is the part situated opposite Erasmus University, just on the other side of Kralingse Zoom. On Thursday evening, the municipal council will vote on the proposal.
“If it were up to us, we would provide as much student accommodation as possible in the Brainpark”, says D66 leader Chantal Zeegers. “This is the ideal location for student accommodation: right next to the university, the university of applied sciences, the metro and close to the city too.” On Thursday, the party will submit a motion to ‘maximise the number of student houses in the Brainpark’. Zeegers expects a majority for that motion.
The party cannot say how many student houses should be created in the Brainpark. It’s still too early, according to a spokesperson. If the municipal council votes for the plan, that will be the go-ahead to elaborate the plans.
“Living away from home is important for learning to be independent and free”, emphasises Julia van den Bosch, president of the Rotterdam Chamber of Associations (RKVV). The growing shortage of accommodation is a huge problem for students. She therefore hopes for more than six hundred student houses.
Because the Brainpark is not in the middle of a residential area, students will not cause much disruption for the neighbourhood. Combine this with its position next to campus and you have the ideal location, says Van den Bosch. “For students, it’s perfect. It’s a short cycle ride to the city, using illuminated cycle paths.”