New Babylon

Victory’s reputation secured a landmark in The Hague, and a distinct real estate vision revitalized the building.

New Babylon is a household name in The Hague. It is the best located asset in the city, directly adjacent to the central station and a well known and loved building since the 1970s.

In the lead-up to the financial crisis, a massive redevelopment project was undertaken to modernize it into a brand-new complex featuring two residential towers with 50,000 sqm of office space and a US-style shopping center.

Due to the financial crisis, New Babylon and many other assets ended up in the hands of the Dutch government’s “bad bank” who had the difficult task of returning these assets to the private sector quickly while obtaining appropriate prices for them. The government considered Victory to be the most reliable counterparty to deliver on the agreed terms and within the required timing and selected it from among a number of the most reputable investors.

New Babylon did not require an extensive refurbishment or renovation. It had recently been rebuilt to a very high standard. However, there were serious issues that needed to be addressed. Through successive ownership failures and a lack of professional management, the asset’s reputation had suffered significantly. The shopping center, a key and highly visible part of the complex, had been a failure. And the visitor experience and access to the office and other areas of the complex had been poorly designed and created unnecessary confusion and tenant frustration.

Victory believed that a clothing-centered, US-style shopping center within the New Babylon complex was unlikely to succeed, but identified that the space would be perfect to convert into the kinds of amenities that make Icon complexes such great places. For example, a bankrupt clothing outlet was replaced by a highly successful modern conference and meeting center and state-of-the-art fitness facility. The entire line-up of retail and food and beverage tenants was also redesigned in line with the Icon vision and helped to make the complex an undisputed success story.