New development spreads luxury homes north of the Grote Markt

Mercado breaks ground (2021)

Discreetly rising behind store fronts near Groningen’s main square, Mercado is a new luxury housing development that will offer a fresh batch of high end homes for people looking to live inthe heart of the Netherlands’ northern hub.

Comprising 41 luxury units, the site broke ground in December last year and will feature an accessible public market hall at its base, expected to become an attraction within the city centre. The project is a first in moving new build large luxury projects to the north side of Grote Markt, an area already flanked by new developments such as Merckt and the soon-to-be-completed Westcord Hotel.

If appetite for these types of homes is anything to go by, the creep northward may continue. New construction specialist Niko Nijenhuis of Pandomo Makelaars, the real estate broker selling Mercado, confirms that demand for premium market homes in the centre has been strong.

“Surprisingly enough, the biggest and most expensive apartments were the first to be sold.”, says Nijenhuis discussing how Mercado was sold out by the start of 2020 and unimpacted by the economic downturn associated with the pandemic.

Nijenhuis believes that Groningen’s centre is in need of better quality homes that allow for a “better mix in population.”

While the residential spaces are all locked up, the market hall, along with lower level commercial spaces, awaits tenants. Once secured and the building completed, Nijenhuis is convinced it will be an attractive place for a diverse mix of people to come together in.

“It would be an interesting place to shop for daily products for both local and building residents, along with visitors from other neighbourhoods and villages”, says Nijenhuis.

Campbell James, an overseas student living locally, points out that the project will have the effect of making the neighbourhood an area of higher wealth, but thinks providing new commercial amenities, like a market hall, is mostly a good thing.

“The only bad thing about that part [a market hall] would be having so many people coming into their building. I can imagine if you’re paying top price for a flat, you’d want a bit more exclusivity,” says James.

With completion expected in 2022, Mercado will be another jewel in the crown of the city centre’s luxury real estate offerings as the area tries to maintain advantage over newer districts set to develop in Stadshavens and Hoendiep over the coming years.

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