Amsterdam: Pretoriusstraat 89hs resquatted

Today 8 september 2019, Pretoriusstraat 89 ground floor has been resquatted. Owner is the family van Zijl from Wilnis, known as infamous real estate speculators in Amsterdam. Until 2013, the building has been used by several butcheries. After, it stood empty for a few years until it was squatted in February 2016. The squatters had to leave in 2018, because the owner wanted to renovate the neglected building and convert its function to living. Since then, not much has happened, the floor is empty and stripped, draughts and rain further damage the property.

The van Zijl family is known for its speculative real estate business, which is conducted through vacancy and neglect. Harry van Zijl, has been called the “Amsterdam King of the Slums”. His son, who takes over the company with a portfolio of more than 80 properties in Amsterdam, employs the same strategy. The more neglected a building, the easier it is to obtain different permits, for example converting its function. The longer it takes, the more it pays off. The housing shortage is not a social problem, but an opportunity for enrichment. That is why many of their houses have been squatted and re-squatted over the years.

For example, Café Van Belle on Mosplein 26 in Amsterdam Noord, which was squatted in August 2014. Also here the squatters had to leave in 2018, because renovations were about to start. However, this property remained empty, until it was sold in July 2018 for 3 million euros. Another speculative object of the family van Zijl is Marnixstraat 388, which was squatted at least three times between 1982 and 2017. The last time squatters entered, the house was completely renovated and separated into five independent apartments. But no one was living in these typical Airbnb apartments.

The government is talking about a new law against squatting, while vacancies, precarious contracts without legal protection and property speculation by investors only increase. We are in the middle of a housing crisis, and that’s why we are taking action!

Some squats in the Netherlands:
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in the Netherlands:
Events in the Netherlands: