Port of Amsterdam Land Policy

1. Introduction

Port of Amsterdam is part of Zeehavens Amsterdam, which comprises the ports of Amsterdam, Zaanstad, Beverwijk and Velsen/IJmuiden.

While Port of Amsterdam was originally part of the City of Amsterdam, on 1 April 2013 the management, operation and development of the Amsterdam port area were corporatized and incorporated into the legal entity Havenbedrijf Amsterdam N.V. (hereinafter: ‘Port of Amsterdam’). The City of Amsterdam is the sole shareholder of the Dutch public limited liability company (N.V.).

Port of Amsterdam’s portfolio of responsibilities includes the management of the Westpoort port area (hereinafter: the ‘Management Area’). Covering an area of more than 1,900 hectares, this port area consists of port and industrial sites, loading and unloading quays, roads, railways and 600 hectares of water. The main sites run from east to west: Stadhaven Minerva, Alfadriehoek, Coenhaven, Vlothaven, Petroleumhaven, Vervoerscentrum, Basisweg, Westhaven, Amerikahaven, Afrikahaven, Atlaspark and HoogTij.

Map of Port of Amsterdam Management Area (pdf)

As part of these responsibilities, Port of Amsterdam serves as a direct contact for businesses looking to settle in the Management Area in connection with port-related activities and/or services. Some of these businesses rent office space, industrial premises, warehouses and other real estate, while others rent or lease previously allocated plots of land and Greenfield locations.

Port of Amsterdam provides the following services to businesses:

Tailored advice:

  • Information about settling in/relocating to the Management Area
  • Assistance in finding suitable office space, industrial premises and other real estate in the Management Area
  • Expert support during the relocation process
  • Advice on requirements, including permits and facilities

This page describes the parameters within which Port of Amsterdam operates in the allocation under lease or sublease of land located in the Management Area. Since Port of Amsterdam is no longer governed by the City of Amsterdam, this policy has an independent status in relation to municipal leasing and rental policies. The rental of other types of real estate, including areas of water and of movable properties, falls outside the scope of this document.

2. Land allocation: general information

The main parameters for allocation of land for the purpose of sublease and rental by Port of Amsterdam arise from the General Terms and Conditions for Leasing agreed between the City of Amsterdam and Port of Amsterdam in relation to land in what is known as the ‘Transformation Area’.

Parameters for main leasehold rights

When Port of Amsterdam was corporatized on 1 April 2013, the City of Amsterdam went on to lease the land located in the Management Area as part of a continuing ground lease to Port of Amsterdam (in some cases under a condition precedent; see below). The City of Amsterdam attached conditions to this leasehold allocation, as set out in the Port of Amsterdam 2013 General Terms and Conditions for Continuing Principal Right of Leasehold. These Terms and Conditions constitute the main parameters of the current land policy pursued by Port of Amsterdam.

Under the main leasehold rights, the land located in the Port of Amsterdam Management Area is subdivided into the following categories:

  • First line: Businesses located directly on the water and engaged in the storage and transhipment of (seagoing) cargo (i.e. dry bulk, wet bulk, containers and general cargo).
  • Second line: Businesses which must be located directly behind the first line in connection with the storage and transhipment of (seagoing) cargo (i.e. dry bulk, wet bulk, containers and general cargo).
  • Third line: Businesses which must be established in the Port, port-related businesses or businesses which deliver added value to the port function (i.e. open storage, business premises and office space).
  • Fourth line: Businesses which must be established in a business park, which does not necessarily need to be located in the Port.

Port of Amsterdam has been granted full authorisation from the City of Amsterdam for the establishment of businesses in the port area engaged directly or indirectly in port-related activities (i.e. first, second and third line) in order to facilitate such establishment in the Management Area. Port of Amsterdam is required to ask prior permission from the City of Amsterdam for the establishment of businesses engaged in non-port-related activities, i.e. the fourth line.

In addition, the allocation of land as part of a sublease and rentals under the main ground lease are subject to a time limit; the establishment of these businesses must not cause any inconvenience or nuisance to the public space and/or the adjacent plots of land.

The lack of residential properties in the area represents a ‘licence to grow’ for Port of Amsterdam, and, as such, land located within the Management Area is not allocated for the purpose of homebuilding and/or other purposes which would limit the activities of the port companies.

Transformation Agreement

Land located in what is known as the ‘Transformation Area’ is subject to a restriction on the term of the agreements and/or the nature of the planned activities. The sites located in the Transformation Area, i.e. Coenhaven, Vlothaven and Alfadriehoek, will eventually be repurposed and given a more urban look and feel. The City of Amsterdam would eventually like to see residential properties and light industry in this area. The businesses currently established in the Coenhaven/Vlothaven area can remain there in any event until 2040. New businesses can settle in the Coenhaven and Vlothaven areas until 2029 or (subject to the approval of the City of Amsterdam) 2040/

https://www.amsterdam.nl/bestuur-organisatie/volg-beleid/haven-stad/

3. Leasehold

When Port of Amsterdam was corporatized in 2013, the City of Amsterdam transferred the economic ownership of the land to Port of Amsterdam.

Under the Decision regarding Economist’s Authorisation (pdf), Port of Amsterdam has been authorised by the City of Amsterdam to perform all management, disposition and other activities in relation to the land located in the Management Area as if it were itself the unconditional ground lease holder.

Sublease

A portion of the land located in the Management Area is directly subject to the main leasehold right of Port of Amsterdam. The latter can subsequently allocate this land under a temporary sublease. This allocation is subject to the general parameters, as described in point 2 above.

All allocation of land by Port of Amsterdam under a sub-leasehold is subject to the ‘General Terms and Conditions for Temporary Sub-Leasehold in the Port Area (pdf)’. In addition, the special terms and conditions are set out in a sub-leasehold agreement (and subsequently in a sub-leasehold deed). The leasehold agreement and the General Terms and Conditions are designed specifically for, and intended for, the allocation of land in the Management Area. A lease right or sublease right cannot be encumbered with a building lease.

Condition precedent

The other portion of the land located within the Management Area is subject to the condition precedent under the main leasehold right: it is only when the land is unencumbered (e.g. because an existing leasehold right is terminated for the purpose of a third party) that the condition precedent becomes effective and the plot of land in question becomes subject to the main leasehold right. The new allocation of land is subject to the General Terms and Conditions for Temporary Sub-Leasehold listed above and to the special terms and conditions to be agreed between the parties.

Land prices

The amount of land within the Management Area eligible for allocation is limited. Furthermore, the allocation policy, as regards the embankment-related, quay-related and port-related sites, has a direct impact on the competitive position of Port of Amsterdam within the Hamburg-Le Havre range, as this competitive position is determined in part by the transhipment of goods in the various ports.

Port of Amsterdam calculates an appropriate land price for each allocation, with the final land price depending on a variety of factors, including location, purpose, the receipt of port dues, the quality of the plot of land in question, the industry in which the company operates and the extent to which the establishment is port related. The allocation of land is different in each individual case, and Port of Amsterdam is able to find the most suitable location for any business looking to settle in the port area. Specific price and allocation policies are applicable for a limited number of activities that require fourth line approval from the municipality of Amsterdam (e.g. petrol station, hotels, data centers, coffeeshops, transmission mast and wind turbines). Please contact one of our commercial managers for further information on whether such policies apply to the activity you are interested in.  

Under the general terms and conditions, it is possible to pay the remaining instalments of the ground rent in advance. The Port of Amsterdam establishes the lump sum to buy out the ground lease, and this is the compensation for loss of the ground rent. The lump-sum buyout payment is calculated as the present value of future cash flows, taking account of inflation and market interest rates.

4. Rental

In addition to allocation as part of a leasehold or sub-leasehold arrangement, Port of Amsterdam also provides the option of renting land within the Management Area. The General Terms and Conditions listed in point 2 above also apply to rentals.

Land rental is subject to the General Terms and Conditions for the Rental of Immovable Property in the Port Area. Special terms and conditions are set out in a lease. This lease and the General Terms and Conditions vary from the terms and conditions applied by the City of Amsterdam for land rental, and specifically apply to the Management Area.

Port of Amsterdam calculates an appropriate rent for each property rented out. The rent depends on several factors, including location, purpose, receipt of port dues, quality of the plot of land in question, the industry in which the tenant operates, and the extent to which companies’ reasons for settling in the port area are port related.