The annual Symposium of Holland Property Plaza will take place on 15 May in the Werkspoorkathedraal in Utrecht. This year’s theme is 'Urbanisation', a challenging subject for anyone who is involved in the development of our cities of the future. Urbanisation and Mobility are closely related, and we have asked the speakers to elucidate these two themes from their own perspectives. As always, this year's symposium is not only about listening and acquiring information, it is also about active participation and sharing practices and opinions.

Prior to the main program, we are organizing Pro Talks round tables with interesting subjects and speakers. We would like to invite you to come a bit earlier at 1 p.m. and join these inspiring Battle of Minds tables (from 1 p.m – 3 p.m) with the following themes. A lunch will be served prior to the Pro Talks.

  • Pro Talks 1: Circular economy: livable cities? By Elfrieke van Galen, Partner at TheRockGroup   
  • Pro Talks 2: City living scenarios: the future context by Ana Christina Martinez, Student Industrial Design Universidad iberoamericana, Campus Pueblo
  • Pro Talks 3: Urban Transformation: The Werkspoorkathedraal in the digital age by Casper Schuuring, Owner Monk Architects
  • Pro Talks 4: Urban Farming/Vertical Agriculture: how to integrate this successfully into city centers? By Eveline Braam, Director The New Farm & Milah Wouters, Owner Fairvent
  • Pro Talks 5: Smart Cities: a new project in The Hague about smart street lights, which will have an impact on all cities in the world by Heimen Visser, Fund Director Communication Infrastructure at Bouwfonds Investment Management

Main Program, starting at 3 p.m.:

  • 15:20 ‘Utopia is not a place, but a state of mind!’ by Chris Zwiers, architect and partner OZ Architecten
  • 15:40 Utrecht: Infrastructural turnable of the Netherlands by Donné Slangen, Director Regional and Project Development, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
  • 16:00 ‘City for all’ presentation by Christian Veddeler, director UN Studio Transformation of the Deutsche Bank Area in Frankfurt
  • 16:40 ‘Flows – mobility and accessibility as driver for density, intensity and urbanity: how to organize station precincts as key centralities within the city context.’ presentation by Ute Schneider: partner KCAP Architects & Planner, Zurich CH
  • 17:00 ‘Healthy urban living’ by Lennert Middelkoop, Director Urban Development, Municipality of Utrecht


The HPP team is looking forward to meeting you in the Werkspoorkathedraal on May the 15th in Utrecht! If you haven’t registered yet, please send an e-mail to

The symposium has been made possible by The Werkspoorkathedraal, for more information visit or see the text below:

Werkspoorkathedraal catalyst for the new future of the Werkspoor area.

The Werkspoorkathedraal is the most iconic building of six remaining buildings of the former industrial site of the Werkspoor. Werkspoor is the short version of the formal name of the factory: “Nederlandsche Fabriek van Werktuigen en Spoorwegmaterieel”. An Amsterdam based firm which expanded its activities to Zuilen-Utrecht in 1912. This steel factory produced trains and all kinds of rolling materials as well as bridges and industrial equipment. The factory had its heydays in the fifties and sixties of the last century, being an employer for almost 5000 people. The workers became part of a real Werkspoor community as the factory provided access to all kinds of services for the workers like housing, education and recreation facilities. As such the factory had a big impact on the urban layout of the surrounding neighborhoods. Due to globalization and new competitors in the market the production dropped down in the seventies and the last building closed down in 1983. From the eighties onwards a lot of Werkspoor buildings were demolished and replaced by typical postindustrial storage buildings, garages etc.  Around 2010 artists and creative entrepreneurs rediscovered the cultural value and potential of the remaining Werkspoor buildings especially the former ‘Apparatenhal’ (machinery hall) which was empty at the time. The owner allowed them to use the building for temporary cultural manifestations, but had also plans to demolish the hall in the future to make place for houses. Luckily the crises came in between and the hall was sold to the Utrecht entrepreneur Bob Scherrenberg. Together with Monk Architects he made a plan to redevelop the hall and give it a new future as a place for working, learning and events. Next to the Werkspoorkathedraal also the iconic transformer house and another former factory hall will be redeveloped in 2017-2018 as well as the public space around the small harbor which will locate a café and a restaurant this coming year. The redevelopment of the industrial heritage functions as a catalyst for the improvement of the whole area. Rooted in the historic and innovative DNA of Werkspoor the area will grow the forthcoming years into a mixed use area where creative entrepreneurs, makers and innovators can touch base and work on the next economy for Utrecht.

Christa Thijssen , director of Holland Property Plaza
Christa Thijssen,
director of Holland Property Plaza
Interview Vastgoedjournaal (Real Estate Journal)

Real estate sector needs to think bigger

Holland Property Plaza (HPP) is increasingly establishing itself as an international community for real estate professionals. Christa Thijssen, the driving force behind HPP and chairwoman of the Dutch Real estate Association in Amsterdam, has plans to increase the number of young people connected to her platform. “We want to connect and meet with more than ‘just the older’ generation”, she explains in VJ.

For tens of years, Christa Thijssen has worked as a marketeer in the property sector. She has a mission, which is to bring real estate players together in order to create new impulses and perspectives. “People have to wake up. When I started my career, I already noticed considerable interest abroad for the Dutch real estate sector. Dutch contractors usually limit their operations to the cross border region. The number of Dutch real estate developers with substantial international operations can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and cooperation between domestic and foreign players is marginal at best. That really is a waste of opportunity, seeing that our business community abounds in knowledge and creativity. At the same time, we desperately need foreign investors.”

Overcoming resistance

Fifteen years ago, Christa became the first person to put the spotlight on the Netherlands during the Expo Real in Munich. “During that initial period, we had to overcome a tremendous amount of resistance. Companies simply did not appreciate the necessity of our objective, and governments merely adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Consequently, the presence of Dutch players at the Expo Real remained very modest for a long period of time. Finally, in 2008, I was able to convince them to participate on a larger scale and to organise a 600m2 stand at which to represent our country. Sadly, the outbreak of the financial crisis then occurred, and we were forced to downscale our presentation to previous levels.”

Several year later, in 2015, Holland Property Plaza had a stand of its own at the Expo Real, featuring 33 private and public participants to internationally promote Dutch municipalities and real estate companies. Thijssen regrets that the Netherlands has so far not operated as a single unit at this renowned trade fair.  “We have to think bigger. I know and believe that our country can expose itself to its fullest advantage if it acts as a tight unit in which all parties cooperate. We need to discard the persistent distinction between the Randstad and the urban regions of the province of Brabant, for example. For the outside world there should be only one brand: the Netherlands. And only one colour: orange. We must operate as a unit, but the so-called G4 municipalities still opt for separation, which I think sends the wrong message.”

Annual programme

Participating in the Expo Real is only one of the many HPP activities, albeit a very important one, clarifies Christa Thijssen. She also attaches considerable value to Holland Property Plaza as it has emerged in recent years. “The exchange of ideas should not be limited to participation in the Expo real. Equally or perhaps even more important is the fact that we organise year-round activities to bring Dutch and foreign parties together. As an example, we organise international dinner meetings under the name HPP-IREIN (International Real Estate Investors Netherlands) at venues in London, Hamburg and Brussels. The companies and organisations we invite to such events include foreign players who are already active on the Dutch market and players with a keen interest in what the Netherlands has to offer, even if they are not (yet) represented there. During these events, we inform them about opportunities on the Dutch real estate market.”Our next edition of Provada will be preceded by an HPP symposium featuring various international speakers and Minister Blok as a guest. “For 2016, we have selected two central themes: Small Housing and Retail. Cities are subject to enormous change. Some families choose to leave urban areas, whilst many senior citizens opt for a life in the city. All city-dwellers have personal needs and requirements. They all want a vibrant city, one that offers good facilities and nice restaurants. As a result, many cities compete with each other for the favour of (potential) residents. For any number of reasons, some groups prefer Rotterdam over Amsterdam, and vice versa. We are all familiar with the stories about the way in which our shopping landscape is changing.  During our HPP symposium, we intend to explain global developments and trends that are taking place in the area of shopping and living. In Zurich, for example, we see the emergence of a remarkable inner-city renting sector.

Traditional bicycle tour

Each year, since 2012, HPP also organises and hosts a annual bicycle tour for decision-makers in the real estate sector. One of the regular participants is Minister Blok. “We have already welcomed many top executives from the real estate sector to our two-day bicycle tour for five years. This year, 55 cyclists will join us for the tour from Arnhem to Monchengladbach and back. A substantive programme will be presented to all participants in both cities.HPP also has several new activities planned for this year. “April will see the first HPP Café. This first edition, to be held on the 14th, is dedicated to the Fenix Warehouses in Rotterdam. Participation in the HPP-Café is subject to the special condition that each member of our Community introduces a ‘young potential’ from the real estate sector.”We shall also take part in the ‘Midcap City Talks’. “Most attention goes out to the four big cities, but why not involve potentially attractive medium-sized cities such as Eindhoven, Tilburg, Enschede or Maastricht? We intend to bring those cities together to discuss their real estate strategies.”

Bert Pots, Vastgoedjournaal, March 2016

Holland Property Plaza kicks off the year with an inspiring real estate event in Soesterberg.

Tuesday January 19, with over 50 HPP participants and HPP business friends Holland Plaza’s first meeting in 2016 was held in the special ambiance of Cecilia Chapel in Soesterberg. In this inspiring environment of a former monastery HPP organized an interactive real estate conference to inform the HPP members and friends on the annual program and the many upcoming HPP activities in 2016. Surrounded by the atmospheric saints in the Cecilia Chapel, Wienke Bodewes Amvest and Chairman of HPP, Herman Kok Multi Corporation and Peter van Bosse Fakton inspired the more than 50 guests with their introductions and paid special attention to the 2016 themes of HPP “Small Housing and Retail”. With a short presentation by Dutch Minister for Housing Stef Blok and an interesting discussion the evening ended with a walking dinner as fitting conclusion.

Learn more about the annual HPP program and see pictures of this event, visit





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Picture from left to right: Mr Franz Josef Nolte Deka Immobilien, Head of Real Estate management Europe, Ms Christa Thijssen, director HPP, Dutch Minister for housing Stef Blok and Mr Wienke Bodewes, Chairman of HPP and CEO of Amvest.

DEKA Immobilien signs the instrument of accession to the HPP-IREIN Network

Amsterdam, March 2015: The head of real estate management, Europe / International, at DEKA, Franz Josef Nolte, signed the official instrument of accession to the IREIN Network in the presence of the Dutch Minister for Regional Planning and Housing on the occasion of a Holland Property Plaza (HPP) - Round Table Dinner. IREIN, International Real Estate Investors in the Netherlands, is an international network of investors who operate in the Dutch market. The objective of this young network, whose members already include large American, German and Swedish real estate companies, is to represent the interests of foreign investors professionally in the Dutch market. "With the help of this platform, Holland Property Plaza would like to ensure that the voice of the growing number of foreign investors gets a better hearing in the Netherlands. We promote exchange of knowledge and know-how, we are a mouthpiece up to the local and national authorities and also to political actors, and we promote the synergies between Dutch market parties, the HPP community and foreign investors, asset managers and real estate fund managers", says Christa Thijssen, HPP – CEO and initiator of the network.

About Holland Property Plaza

Since 2008, HPP has been organising not only the "Holland stand" at the Expo Real, but also formal and informal network meetings between various parties from the real estate and finance sector. The meetings take place at regular intervals in the Netherlands, Germany and England. The objective of these interactions is to engage the national networks with one another and to exchange experiences with one another. IREIN is one more international network that is lining up at HPP. For more details visit:


Christa Thijssen 

Holland Property Plaza 
Phone +31 (0) 30 699 1863 

Anja Sturme

Holland Property Plaza Germany
Phone +49 (0) 2153 -13958 -20 


Amsterdam, 20 November 2014 - Christa Thijssen, founder and owner of Holland Property Plaza, is elected Real Estate Woman of the Year 2014. The Dutch Women in Real Estate (DWIRE) Award is an annual recognition granted to women working in the Dutch real estate business for services rendered to the entire sector.

In 1990, Christa Thijssen, who has been active in the construction and real estate sector with Thijssen-PR ever since 1988, founded the current European Real Estate Circles (EREC). This foundation aims to establish property associations and networks in various European countries in order to promote the exchange of information and cross-border cooperation in the European construction and property sector. The founding of EREC Germany in 1990, the accession of the Dutch Property Association to EREC in 2002 and the founding of IKTUS in Croatia in 2004 constituted the first steps towards achieving a European network. In 2007, Christa Thijssen founded Holland Property Plaza, which for the first time participated in the Expo Real international commercial property trade fair in 2008. Christa Thijssen is highly valued for her dedication to these networks, promoting the cross-border exchange of knowledge and international cooperation within the European real estate sector. As the chairwoman of the Dutch Property Association Amsterdam (NVA) and the Association for Vision and Strategy in the Construction Industry (GSVB) she is deeply involved with sector developments every day.

Wienke Bodewes, CEO of Amvest, one of the biggest property development and investment companies in the Netherlands, and also chairman of NEPROM (Dutch Association of Property Developers) responded to the DWIRE jury’s decision with the following words: "Christa plays a very important role across the entire board of the Dutch real estate sector, from property development, contractors and investors to funders, architects, government and consultants. Her capacity to captivate others and to forge relationships is unrivalled, and her passion and perseverance are something to be envious of. There are not many people who can achieve what she does in the Netherlands or even beyond. Her achievements stand firm, regardless of good or bad economic circumstances are. Hats off and congratulations!"

For more details please contact: Christa Thijssen on +31 (0)30-6991863 or +31 (0)622215812

Pictured (©DWIRE): Bianca Seekles (left), director of ERA Contour, chairwoman of the DWIRE jury and real estate woman of the year 2013, hands Christa Thijssen (right) the DWIRE Award 2014.

About Holland Property Plaza (HPP): HPP is a marketing and network concept for the real estate sector, with various knowledge and network-related activities being organised for real estate professionals throughout the year. HPP is well-known for its annual organisation of a joint stand for various Dutch and European partners at the Expo Real commercial property trade fair in Munich. The following organisations currently reside under the Holland Property Plaza umbrella: Dutch Property Association Amsterdam, Holland Property Bike, European Real Estate Circles and the Foreign Real Estate Investors Network Netherlands, with, among others, Deka Immobilien, Internos Global Investors, Deutsche Hypothekenbank, L’Etoile Properties and the Düsseldorfer Hypothekenbank as participants.

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Christa Thijssen, the director, owner and founder of Holland Property Plaza, is one of the three candidates nominated by the association of Dutch Women In Real Estate (DWIRE) for the 2014 Dutch Women In Real Estate Award.

  • HPP Expo Real 2014HPP Expo Real 2014
  • Logo of DWIRELogo of DWIRE

We are proud to announce this nomination and ask you to help us secure her election in November by going to the DWIRE website and submitting your vote before the 24th of October next.

Having acquired invaluable experience over the past 25 years in the cross-border promotion and marketing of the real estate and construction industry in Europe, Christa Thijssen has become synonymous for “Real Estate”.

The mere fact that Christa has been nominated constitutes a powerful stimulant for Holland Property Plaza to continue its current activities in Europe. We are convinced that with your help this nomination will result in Christa being awarded the title she so much deserves after all that she has done for the entire sector over the years and passionately continues to do now.

Paul Voogd,
Team HPP

“For us, EXPO REAL is really the place to be!”, said Christa Thijssen, Director of Holland Property Plaza, a year ago. So it is no surprise to see you all back in Munich for the biggest B2B trade show for property and investment in Europe.  The participants in EXPO REAL cover the entire value-added chain in the sector. A great opportunity for all of you to meet and to do business.

Holland Property Plaza and it’s Exhibitor Committee has brought together for the 7th time a great mix of multinational companies and players to promote the Dutch business and investment climate. Very exciting, as this will be the moment where all the hard work and months of preparation will cumulate in a tight schedule of meetings and talks. 

Munich is not without reason such a fruitful place to do business. As the capital of Bavaria with a strong financial and industrial centre, it is together with Baden-Württemberg the so-called motor of the German economy.  Bavaria is very proud of a near 18% share in Germany’s Gross National Product (488  EUR Billion, 2013).  The unemployment rate is as low as 3,8%. 

Therefore I am very pleased that this year’s HPP Investors Dinner will not only be attended for the second time by the Dutch Minister Mr. Stef Blok, but also by the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Building and Transport, Mr. Joachim Hermann. Minister Herrmann also serves as Deputy Governor of the Free State of Bavaria. 

Established around 200 years ago, the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, Building and Transport is one of Bavaria’s, and indeed one of Germany’s oldest ministries. Traditionally, the Bavarian State Government has always cultivated good relations with foreign countries. For a highly advanced state like Bavaria, with a deeply rooted identity, it is impossible to imagine a sound future development without it being embedded in an international framework. 

Wherever there are close connections with neighbours, wherever there are historical and cultural ties, wherever similarities to Bavaria become apparent, and wherever there is an opportunity for greater access to the world’s markets, the State Government acts as a door-opener and partner. 

This fit very well with the role of  the Consulate-general for the Netherlands in Munich. Our Economic Department supports firms wishing to export to southern Germany or

invest here. Our services vary from providing information about market developments

and answering trade requests to introductions to local authorities and helping find business partners. We also assist German businesses in finding investment opportunities and business partners in the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.   

Last but not least I hope you are able to get a glimpse of the beautiful and vibrating city of Munich too. The Wies’n has his closing weekend upon your arrival, but it is never too late to join the party. It shows how true the Lederhosen-Doing Business combination works.  

Peter Vermeij
Consul-general of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg


In just a few days’ time the 17th Expo Real in Munich will open its doors to the public and Holland Property Plaza will host again the HPP Investor Dinner in Hotel Excelsior on the 6th of October. 

We are delighted and honored to announce that in addition to the Dutch Minister for Housing Stef Blok, the Bavarian State Minister Joachim Herrmann, Minister of the Interior, Building and Transport will attend the HPP Investor Dinner in Munich.

  • Joachim HerrmannJoachim Herrmann
  • Stef BlokStef Blok
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With their presence and the attendance of over 80 international leading real estate guests, invited by Holland Property Plaza and her participants, and the inspiring and private ambiance of the Hubertus Salon we really think to have created an Expo Real property summit.


The Netherlands, a country with investment opportunities? Absolutely!

A market update not to be missed by you as an investor!  

Announcement - Investment Locations Forum on 6 October, 2 p.m., Hall A1.

What better way to inform you about the current investment climate in the Netherlands than by inviting foreign investors to address you themselves and by providing minister Stef Blok with an opportunity to personally explain the measures he has taken to boost the housing market in general and open it up for new investments in particular. 

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For the 7th consecutive year, Holland Property Plaza will host the HPP International Ladies Breakfast during the Expo Real in Munich. Every year we take the opportunity  to organize a special event during the Expo Real for women operating in the international property business. The event is organised for both members and non-members of the HPP network. 

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Holland Property Plaza is one of the partners at the EXPOLAUF  (EXPORUN) on October 5 in the Westpark Munich.

If you want to network with us in a relaxed sporty atmosphere before the first day of the fair, this is an excellent opportunity.

Subscribe and join us

Start in: 15:30 clock +++ PARTICIPATION IS FREE! +++

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Participants in 2017

HPP Community members