Good news in the midst of the corona pandemic: an investment that creates more than 150 new jobs
ZONHOVEN / GHENT, 21 May 2020 - The Ghelamco Arena in Ghent is abuzz with activity: the skilled specialists of Jansen the Building Company have recently started finishing work on a new hotel there. Their client? The well-known Van der Valk chain of hotels, which is investing in an establishment with over 250 hotel rooms, 14 conference and meeting rooms, and a Van der Valk Business Center. With this business offer, the hotel chain will be addressing a blind spot in the region. Both family businesses refuse to be deterred by COVID-19: Through this project, Van der Valk has created over 150 new jobs, and Jansen will ensure that the planning will proceed as per schedule to the extent possible, in spite of the unforeseen lockdown.
Thus Ghent will have one more hotel in the spring of 2021. The well-known hotel chain Van der Valk will open a new establishment in the Arteveldestad. “The building will be located near the Ghelamco Arena. It will have a total of 10 floors, more than 250 hotel rooms, and an underground car park. The top floor will house a sky bar which will offer panoramic views of the ‘towers of Ghent’. It will be a building to be ‘preus’ (read ‘proud’) of - to use a regional expression,” says Max Van der Valk (General Manager Van der Valk, Hotel Gent) with great enthusiasm.
“This project fulfils a long-felt need of the business community in this region”
The family business with the well-known toucan in the logo has set up 115 hotels in several countries in the course of time. ‘Hotel Gent’ will be Van der Valk’s 16th hotel in Belgium: “We are no strangers to Ghent. Our family also has hotels in Nazareth and Drongen. Each of them has their own charm and therefore complements each other. The ‘Hotel Gent’ represents our focus on addressing the needs of business and large business customers. A conference location with 14 rooms, over 250 hotel rooms, several restaurants, a sky bar, fitness and wellness facilities: this region has not had the benefit of these conveniences so far. The business clientele visits here during the working week in particular. By contrast, the emphasis on weekends is on recreational guests, because the Ghent region has many tourist attractions to offer”, says Dominique van Deth (member of the Van der Valk Hotel Gent management)
What makes the project unique is that it is being executed when the hotel industry has been hit hard by the corona virus and entrepreneurs have deferred their investments en masse. “But deep valleys are always followed by high peaks. As a family business, we think ahead and always adopt a positive attitude. This is what underlies our investment in the new project,” says Max van der Valk (member of the Van der Valk Hotel Gent management).
The second family company involved - Jansen the Building Company - has also decided to resolutely deal with the corona crisis through this project, says Sarai Bervoets (Director Sales & Engineering at Jansen The Building Company): “Jansen the Building Company is responsible for the entirety of the furnishing of the building and its immediate surroundings, including all the technical installations. We utilised the lockdown to deepen the preparatory study further. As part of this study, our focus was on devising solutions that would minimise the possible disruptions that would result from the lockdown and the social distancing measures. And our efforts were duly rewarded. Despite corona, we are still on schedule.”
New step in ‘Flanders’
For Jansen the Building Company, the Van der Valk hotel represents the next stage in its expansion in the region. “We recently had the honour of participating in the building of the new police station in Kortrijk and the AZ Delta hospital in Roeselare. We also successfully completed various retail projects in East and West Flanders, for clients such as H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Superdry and Mayerline. We are clearly gaining a foothold in this region. We are currently also working hard on a number of business sites. O-forty in Oostkamp and R-plaza in Roeselare for example. What explains the strong chemistry between the people of Limburg and East and West Flanders? It will be immediately obvious that we share an entrepreneurial mentality”, concludes Nadia Jansen (CEO of Jansen the Building Company).
“There is one more thing I would like to tell you. We are currently working out the plans to establish our new office on the ninth floor of this fantastic hotel”.
About Van der Valk
Van der Valk, the Netherlands’ oldest and largest hotel chain, has more than one hundred hotels, spread across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands Antilles. It all began in the late 1920s, with an eatery in Voorschoten, run by Martinus and Rie Van der Valk. The fourth generation is taking over from the third generation and in some hotels the fifth generation is chipping in.
About Jansen the Building Company
Jansen is a first rate general contractor, specialising in interior finishing and technical installations. This construction group is rooted in 45 years of family tradition with 350 professionals all active in four fields: contracting, product development, real estate development, and facility management. Jansen the Building Company was founded in 1973 and its head office is located in Zonhoven, and realises projects worth more than 100 million euros each year in various sectors: healthcare, office, retail, and – the more niche sectors of pharma, cleanrooms, leisure, and tunnels.
For more information:
Marketing manager, Jansen the Building Company
+32 (0) 470 99 62 51
Thalita van der Valk
Marketing & Communications Manager, Van der Valk International
+31 (0) 88 1825512