Blueprint submitted for Feyenoord City project



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Feyenoord new stadium Image: OMA

The blueprint for Feyenoord City, the major development project for Rotterdam in The Netherlands, which will include a new facility for Dutch professional football club Feyenoord, has been submitted to the city council.

Feyenoord plays in Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Officials behind the scheme submitted the master plan recently. The whole project is just inching forward.

The entire scheme received the nod from the municipal council in May 2017 but with a rider. The master plan contains the complete vision for the radical overhaul of land in the southern part of the Dutch city.

The submission of the master plan follows the final design of the new stadium which was unlocked last month, with few changes here and there. Bringing the venue’s stands nearer to the pitch is a part of the alterations.

Eight interconnected sub areas is a part of the Feyenoord City Master Plan which will expand in four phases in the coming years. The master plan is an advanced version of a concept first presented in November 2016. They are: Stadskant, Waterfront, Mallegatpark, Het Nieuwe Stadion, de Strip, De Kuip/Kuip Park, De Veranda and Getijdenpark. It is expected that the first sections of the project to be developed will be the new stadium and the area in and around it.

A vast expanse of area has been covered under the master plan – 600,000 square meters, with the most important change from the draft plan being the addition of 3,700 extra homes. Eyeing certain target groups, Rotterdam aims to develop more housing and hence help in the growth of the city.

As the new facility will be located partly in the Nieuwe Maas, the banks of the River Meuse will be activated through new routes along the river in a bid to transform the local area and facilitate residents to enjoy the water, verdant surroundings and views over the city. The master plan also includes a possible cross-river connection, as a result of which Feyenoord City will connect the south and north banks in the future.

The price tag for the whole development is expected to be more than €1bn (£864.7m/$1.11bn), excluding the stadium. Only in December will a clear picture emerge as to when the stadium will be completed. Construction will commence once the necessary permits are secured in April 2021.

Though the stadium is expected to open its gates in June 2024, but the business plan is still under a cloud and no agreement has been reached on the funding. Rob de Jong, Director of the Foundation for Regional Development on the Maas, said he is “assuming” that financing plans might collapse, and if that happens, there is no contingency plan in hand.

He further said that as per the Rijnmond.nl website, “We have agreed with the municipality that if the stadium does not prove to be feasible, we will again make a plan… to see what is possible at the location of the envisaged stadium.”

In June, charitable organisation Stichting De Verre Bergen made a €24.5m donation to Stadion Feijenoord, the body behind the delivery of a new stadium for Feyenoord, in a novel concept under which 3,884 free tickets will be given to local children to every home game played by the club.

In April, the De Nieuwe Ploeg consortium was added to the team that is responsible for the delivery of the new stadium. This addition was made after stakeholders of the project revealed in March that there will be a one-year delay in readying the venue citing that sticking to the original deadline comes with a lot of risks. Officials had aimed for construction to start in mid-2020 for an opening in the summer of 2023.

The original vision for the entire development included a number of alterations to it when the new business plan for the project was unveiled in February. The project met with a lot of hiccups and was stalled in recent times. In December, Feyenoord was given the green signal to continue with its endeavor to build the largest football stadium in The Netherlands.

In November, it was reported that local authorities were worried over the yawning delay in the implementation of the 63,000-seat arena for which €444m will be expended.

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