“The sun shines, the Spanish cuisine is fantastic, the people are relaxed and friendly, my decision to invest and develop in Spain was simple: I like the living environment in Spain, I saw great business opportunities here.”
I had long wanted a house of my own in Spain, which became a logical step with the setting up of Loemas. Expanding my investments and activities abroad also became a necessity. The investment climate in the Netherlands was already bleak at the time. And in Spain there is room for the way I like to work a lot: using existing buildings, bringing them up to date and urban development, adding quality to existing buildings. Spain provides that too. You find a lot of fallow, half-finished areas here. No doubt there once was an urban idea behind it, but many projects have got no further than a foundation and concrete construction. If you see these opportunities in an area with a great green and water-supplying microclimate, located between the airports of Alicante and Valencia, the choice is quickly made.
Wim Weltevrede is a business relation of my father, and my father is still an important advisor to me. Wim knows this region like no other, comes from a similar market, and we are on the same page in terms of quality and appearance of projects. Jésus Pobre was our first project in this region, two blocks of semi-detached villas that needed a lot of work when we bought it, initially a difficult project. The price narenovation would be far too high, in my opinion, for the market we were targeting. When buying, I wanted to bet ‘low’. My lawyer shouted: ‘Johan, the seller is not going to accept this offer’. With a good story, especially in consultation with the municipality of Jésus Pobre, our bid was accepted. This created financial space to build with the quality and luxury we had in mind.
For me, the challenge lies in making apartements and villas beautiful, buying locations strategically, and then optimising projects as investments. Searching for and ‘spotting’ good locations, developing existing construction, that is where my expertise lies. An example of an area that was worth nothing 15 years ago is Scheveningen Harbour. I ran across two authentic properties there; there was nothing at all on that harbour yet. Properties bought, tackled, roof villas built on top. That turned out to be the beginning of the development of that whole area. Now this Scheveningen harbour area is filled with new buildings, shops have sprung up, there are terraces, it is bursting with restaurants, in short, it has become a bustling area.
That experience has been brought into our Spanish projects. We want to discover and subsequently develop an area, add value to what already exists. You can see that in our La Siesta project. Before purchasing, we enter into discussions with the relevant municipality: this is our plan, do you find us interesting, will you cooperate, or oppose? So far, everyone is very happy with what we are doing, always looking emphatically at urbanisation.
My primary wish for the future is that our projects will still look good in fifteen years’ time. I know we are building to a high standard; the buyer experiences this as time passes. And of course I want to grow with Loemas. I want to continue as a company and realise unique, exclusive projects. From a diversified and analysed portfolio. That is the future.Those elementary things: knowledge of real estate, renovating, investing, as well as a property network, make the choice of Loemas as a developer logical.
La Siesta is now largely completed, we have acquired a new project, and are selecting interesting plots and projects. Within which we develop for ourselves and set up propositions with investors. The approach with every Loemas project is: knowledge, trust and experience make a good and strong return.