Ivy curls around the rusted steel balconies, inside the bed is made and the kitchen sparkles, and a rack of bikes are downstairs ready for the next journey into Amsterdam.
These are the ‘fully serviced designer rentals’ at NorthOrleans, a halfway home between a long-term place to stay and serviced apartment, perfect for newcomers to the city.
David, a British-Dutch management consultant, has recently moved in and appreciates the ease of living in this new development, minutes from the ferry in Amsterdam Noord. ‘Convenience is the most important reason why I live here,’ he says. ‘Everyone’s friendly, they are very flexible and they take care of you.
‘I live on my own and I looked at some apartments in De Pijp, but this was either cheaper or the same, with a lot better facilities. This is a good deal, especially if you can work remotely and don’t have to be on the other side of Amsterdam every day.’
The modern but characterful apartments, which have their own restaurant, outside garden space and barbecue, are aimed at young professionals, particularly those new to the city who don’t yet know where they want to live longer term.
There are 120 homes, from studio flats with an electric pull-down bed, to roomier, one-bedroom spaces, all with their own balconies. Tenants can choose from three different views, one of the sunset to the west, the garden to the south or the sunrise to the east.
The upper floors, which have a sweeping vista of the water, are more expensive, but all apartments have the same amenities: full furnishing and utensils, all SMEG appliances, NorthOrleans designer bike, once-a-week cleaning and fresh sheets and towels.
‘It’s great for expats who want to move to Amsterdam, who can just come with a suitcase and have a year to find out if they want to live in north or in the Jordaan,’ said managing director Luca Stradmann.
‘We have a diplomatic clause so that if they have to leave the Netherlands, they can terminate the contract after six months without any costs. It’s a great option for people looking for convenience with a month-to-month termination after the initial period. Most people have been here for a year and a half, although a few have been here since 2016.’
The building, which has six floors, is currently 70% occupied. Prices range from €990 a month for a studio on the first or second floor, to €1.750 for a one-bedroom suite (excluding the €300 monthly service charge). Many of the tenants are couples, from more than 55 different countries, and there are regular social events and a Facebook group to help them get to know their neighbours.
The high-tech living includes a front door-opening system from an app on your telephone, automatic watering system for the plants, and handy customisable, modular wardrobe space. There is, of course, ‘furiously fast’ internet, your own television, communal storage and bins downstairs, and your own personal bicycle and indoor parking spot. On the roof are 280 solar panels, cutting the electricity requirements by 30% in the past year.
There are plans to expand the concept to other cities such as Berlin and throughout Europe, while the developers are constantly improving the site. Next in the plans are a communal space, including spots for working, along side an authentic Italian pasta restaurant and coffee bar.
Although there’s a relaxed and friendly vibe, the apartments aren’t suitable for pets or for Airbnb rentals, and the compact living is not ideal for children. One other bonus, though: it’s possible to register your official address here with the city council from the start.
‘Everything’s new and modern, it’s a luxury place,’ adds David. ‘If you have friends or family staying, there’s a lot of parking nearby too, and that’s a rarity!’
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