Reconstruction Aarhof: these adjustments are made in the plans

What about the plans for the redevelopment of the De Aarhof shopping center? It is clear that the plans will change here and there. The renovation will not start until the fourth quarter of 2023.

SB Real Estate BV has owned De Aarhof since August 2019 and has the ambition to greatly modernize the complex, make it more sustainable, add housing and give the shopping area a new impetus. As a result, De Aarhof should regain a central position in the heart of Alphen aan den Rijn. The shopping center gets a major facelift with greater emphasis on the supply of daily goods and services. For example, another supermarket and a fresh garden will be added.

Changes in the plans

When the plans were announced, the ambition was to begin the renovation of De Aarhof in the second quarter of 2022. It is delayed. In the past period, SB Ejendom has adapted plans based on input from participation with the environment and the purchase of the HEMA building and developed them into a preliminary design. This is stated in a letter that the municipal council has sent to Alphense municipal council.

residential towers
One of the adjustments is the replacement of the two residential towers to be added to the mall. In the sketch design, the north tower was the tallest. This tower would provide more shade in the public area on Aarkade in the period October-March. This effect disappears by switching the towers. The maximum shadow will then not extend beyond the shadow of the current buildings on Aarkaden. The replacement of the towers therefore seems to have a positive effect on the environment.

The architect has further elaborated the facades in the preliminary design. Some facades in the sketch design were larger / wider than it suited the environment. This was pointed out in the participation. In the preliminary design, the facades have now been adapted so that it appears that the center consists of individual buildings. As a result, the plan is more in line with the environment.

Participants also indicated that they would like to see the design of the mall in accordance with the architecture on the outside. Another point of attention is that the interior must radiate sufficient calm, something that is currently lacking. The design includes a central square inside the De Aarhof. All passages and the entrances to the parking lots lead to that space. Shops get high fronts and passengers get wooden ceilings with lights in from the sides. This gives the passengers a contemporary look.

Integration of Hema building
The HEMA building in De Aarhof is now owned by SB Real Estate. With the purchase of HEMA, the road is ready to draw a final design. The previous design was still developed around this building. However, this requires changes in the preliminary design. There is now a better connection between the homes and the shopping center. The floor of the HEMA building gets a comfortable connection from Van Boetzelaerstraat, so a large part of the residents can park their bikes there.

It was already known that the plan would include about 300 homes. A specific number is mentioned in the preliminary project: 303 homes. As agreed with the municipal council, at least 45% of these affordable housing will be realized. For owner-occupied homes, this is up to the limit of a National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG). For rental homes, it is a maximum of € 1,000. The preliminary design fulfills more than the agreement, the council states.

What now?

The architect is now preparing the preliminary project for De Aarhof for a final design and an application for environmental approval. The city council decided in January that a coordinated procedure should be used. This means that the environmental approval is made available for inspection at the same time as the zoning plan. Following the current planning, it is planned to start the procedure at the end of 2022 / beginning of 2023. The renovation of the shopping center can then, according to the plan, start in the fourth quarter of 2023. The duration of the construction is expected to be approximately 2.5 to 3 years.

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