Alderman Mieke Verhees is pleased with the temporary expansion of student housing: "We are facing a huge housing shortage, also for students, while this group is so important for economic growth in the region. As a municipality, we are doing everything we can to utilize the available space, temporary or otherwise. As the redevelopment of the former Philips headquarters will take several years, I took the initiative to enter into talks with the owners and TU/e to explore the possibilities."
To make the building suitable for student housing, the office floors will be converted into student rooms. Work is being done in the format of a student house where eight to 10 students live in groups, sharing sanitary facilities and the kitchen. General facilities are being considered for the lower levels. In the basement there will be facilities for waste collection and extensive bicycle storage.
The owners (Ten Brinke and BPRE), the TU/e, and the municipality are committed to ensuring that the students feel at home and that they become good neighbors to those living nearby. The neighborhood has been invited to a walk-in meeting where they can share concerns and tips, and where the parties involved and students can answer their questions. Topics of discussion include noise reduction, arranging bicycle parking and bicycle routes, and preventing litter.
The TU/e will remain involved in the complex even after completion, for example, by contributing to a healthy living environment and good management of the building. This will be done by appointing senior students as contact individuals for each floor, who are in turn in contact with other senior students and the building manager. Who will be the manager is not yet known at this time, but negotiations are in the final stages.
The TU/e made an active contribution to the implementation of the plan. For example, the university provided advice on the design and organization of the building, drawing on the experience gained by the TU/e in student housing projects on campus and elsewhere in the city. TU/e will refer house-seeking students to vacant rooms.
Nicole Ummelen, vice president of the TU/e Executive Board: "As a university, we are not allowed to invest in student housing ourselves, but through the student housing covenant, we do work closely with the municipality, housing corporations, and other organizations to enable developments. Our role consists of connecting parties and facilitating processes. We are proud that in this way we can contribute to the big need for student housing."
Last September, housing corporation Trudo and the site owners Ten Brinke/BPRE announced that they would work together to develop a new use for the landmark Philips office and its surroundings. The expectation is that 400 to 700 affordable homes will eventually be realized in and around the former headquarters.