About SugarCity

Cobraspen Groep has been working on the redevelopment of the SugarCity site since 2000. The entire area is being tackled: the Sugar Silos, where sugar used to be stored, have been converted into ultramodern show and office spaces, the 21,000 m² Factory will be used as an event location and on 26 November the 20,000 m² ‘Amsterdam The Style Outlets’ will open: a high-end fashion outlet with over a hundred shops. In addition to retail, there will be (amongst other things) various catering establishments, a marina, a large supermarket and a 400-room hotel with space for events and congresses. In short, the perfect place to combine business with pleasure!

Industrial heritage under (re)development
On the former site of the CSM Sugar Factory in Halfweg, an area of 110,000 m² is being repurposed. Much of this will come from the transformation of existing buildings, but new construction is also taking place. An important starting point for the redevelopment of the area is the preservation and restoration of the valuable existing industrial buildings. The urban plan proposes a rich mix of functions, creating a lively area that is freely accessible to all. Sometimes events overtake you: with the zoning plan finally settled, there no longer appeared to be a market for offices and the mega-cineplex we had originally envisaged. Thanks to the flexible layout of the zoning plan, however, there was room for the Amsterdam The Style Outlets.

International FIABCI Prix d’Excellence

In 2011, SugarCity was awarded the Prix d’Excellence by FIABCI international, in the category ‘Environmental Conservation’. This makes SugarCity one of the most talked-about redevelopments of industrial heritage in Europe. The SugarCity project, with the Sugar Silos as its landmark and based on the urban design of the architectural firm Common Affairs, was selected by the oversight panel because of the high quality of the area and the development of plans for the former sugar factory.

The History

The first sugar factory was opened in Halfweg in 1863. After a few years, this sugar factory closed, with N.V. Suikerfabriek Holland establishing itself there a short while later. In 1919, N.V. Suikerfabriek Holland became part of Centrale Suiker Maatschappij. This is how the name ‘CSM site’ came into being.

Sweet history
Centrale Suiker Maatschappij N.V. was founded in 1919 to produce sugar from sugar beet, which it did for many years. The company was a merger between NV Wester Suikerraffinaderij, NV “Hollandia”, ASMij, and CV Van Loon & Co. The merger included the 17 private sugar mills that remained of the 28 that existed in 1910. Since the mid-1970s, the company had grown into a large concern. Sugar activities were gradually becoming less and less part of the overall business. As a result of this and the increasing scale of sugar factories, the number of sugar factories grew ever smaller. The end of the factory in Halfweg was also on the cards. With the closure of the sugar factory in 1992, approximately 110,000 m² of land became available for reuse. This is about one third of the surface area of the entire municipality. Cobraspen purchased the site in 2000 through an invitation to tender.

SugarCity is historically very valuable as an area and is regarded as a unique piece of industrial heritage. Two special objects are the Town Hall (‘Swanenburg’ Castle) (1645) – the first building in Halfweg – and the factory complex of the Suikerunie.

Remarkably, the stately Town Hall (‘Swanenburg’ Castle), designed by Pieter Post, was part of the production process until 1950, housing the evaporative boilers. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the building served as the castle of the Rhineland Water Board. In 2007, SugarCity was added to the HollandRoute of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

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