Real estate investor Jamestown acquired Rotterdam’s historic Groot Handelsgebouw a couple of years ago. It was its first large format acquisition in Europe. Until now everything more or less stayed the same but now a big change is coming. A foodhall will soon be opened in the former Brasserie Engels and you can be part of it.
Jamestown already has quite the knowledge and experience concerning food halls and markets as they are most notably known for similar projects in the United States.
As a spokesperson says: ”Jamestown is known for turning historic buildings into community hubs, where food and drink play an important role. The company has previously done this on various projects like Chelsea Market in New York, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and Ponce City Market in Atlanta by working with local entrepreneurs in the hospitality, art, and culture sector.”
”Groot Handelsgebouw is at the heart of Rotterdam’s history of growth and regeneration; we hope to continue that legacy with a new chapter through creating a hub for the new innovation economy,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown.
Something’s Cooking! at Groot Handelsgebouw
The plans for the foodhall are still fresh so everybody can still suggest ideas according to the spokesperson: ”We are working on the development of a food hall in the catering area on the station side of the building. It will be a place where local food & beverage entrepreneurs can show their skills. While plans are still in the concept phase, Jamestown is looking for creatives with a passion for all things food and drink. They can report to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Already there is signing on the historic facade of Restaurant Engels announcing the foodhall. Restaurant Engels went out of business last year due to Covid-19. Engels opened its first location in 1884 and has since always been a household name in Rotterdam. Even before the Groot Handelsgebouw was completed in 1953, Engels opened its door in 1952 on the corner with Weena.
Jamestown acknowledged catering is an important part of the historic building in response to the ending of Engels a year ago. ”The catering industry is part of GHG, but we have no idea yet what we want to do with the space. We are now inventorying the possibilities and are looking at ‘Engels’. We hope to be able to preserve the rich history. It is of course a strange time for the catering industry. It remains to be seen what will be allowed and what will not.”
Those plans are now presented clearly and local entrepreneurs can be part of it!