Published on: 09 September 2019

Birgitta Padberg: 1 year Groot Handelsgebouw

Birgitta Padberg: 1 year Groot Handelsgebouw

Meet our team: Birgitta Padberg

If you ask Birgitta Padberg what she thinks about her first year at the Groot Handelsgebouw, her enthusiasm will blow you away. She started in the role of Managing Director in September 2018. Before that, she had built up over twenty years’ experience working in commercial real estate in Rotterdam. “This role has exceeded my expectations because I need to have a helicopter view. I’m not just involved in the commercial aspects, but also for example in technical issues and questions about the facilities, as well as maintaining contacts with various stakeholders in the city. Keeping the Groot Handelsgebouw future-proof is one of the major objectives.”

“It’s not only the sheer scale of the building that makes working here so exceptional, but also the history.”

Optimization

Birgitta has an eye for detail and she can always see room for improvement. “Optimization is really important to me. That’s why I focused primarily on our internal organization during the first few months. The team that works here is committed, and proud of it. It’s not only the sheer scale of the building that makes working here so exceptional, but also the history. We aimed to visualize that in the small museum in the central lobby, and it worked pretty well. I like starting my tours with potential tenants and contacts in that room so that I can give a good impression of the building, past and present.”

“The team told me right at the start that the Groot Handelsgebouw gets deep into your DNA – and they were absolutely right!”

Long-term strategy

On instructions from the owner, HighBrook Investors, Birgitta is working on a long-term strategy for the Groot Handelsgebouw. “The Groot Handelsgebouw is extremely important for the city, and even for the Netherlands as a whole. Because we’re a listed building, we have to deal with a lot of stakeholders. My experience is that this does mean we lose out a touch in terms of muscle, but the planning becomes more concrete. I’m looking forward to the moment when we can present and implement our plans for the future. It’s important that the building moves with the times, performs well and remains relevant.”

A year of high points

Birgitta looks back on the last year with pride. “There were a lot of high points during the year – the opening of our exhibition in the Kunsthal, for instance, and turning on the lighting for the celebration. I’m proudest of how enthusiastic our tenants are, though. They’ve turned out to be real ambassadors and I think it’s wonderful that we, as a team, have managed to achieve that. The team told me right at the start that the Groot Handelsgebouw gets deep into your DNA – and they were absolutely right!”

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