Now it is still a bare site, but soon the Schakel will be the sparkling entrance to Jachthaven Biesbosch.
Fallow land, little greenery and a somewhat unclear road network. Many visitors enter the marina via the Schakel, but the area is not a calling card for Drimmelen. Not yet, because Jachthaven Biesbosch has plenty of plans for the site.
Now it is still bare and industrial, but we are going to develop this part into an area where there is something to do", says Renate Ilmer, Marina Manager of Jachthaven Biesbosch. For example, there may be shops, a hairdresser or offices for companies that have ties with the marina. All options are still open."
Connecting the harbours and the town of Drimmelen
In recent years, Jachthaven Biesbosch and the municipality have made plans for the development of the area that they have named The Schakel. Ilmer: ,,The municipality came up with this working title for the project, but more and more people are now using it. After all, it is an apt description, because the area forms the link between the new marina, the old harbour and the village."
This link will soon form an attractive entrance to the marina. Shops, offices, catering establishments and greenery will bring more liveliness and a more attractive environment. The streets will also be redesigned and a more logical road network and parking spaces will be created.
How much and when to build depends on the demand for space. ,,We are not going to build just to leave the premises empty. That is why we are building in phases. We expect the zoning plan to be changed in 2022 and then we can start on the first phase."
The new buildings consist of only one or two layers at the most and will have the same style as the restaurant De Sloep, the yacht realtors' offices and the supermarket. These companies were given a place in the Schakel in recent years and consist of units that can be moved quickly. Therefore, while awaiting the changes to the zoning plan, among other things, some construction work could already be done in the area.
,,In 2018, visitors stayed an average of one night in our marina, now it's more than three.”
-Renate Ilmer, Marina Manager of Jachthaven Biesbosch
Currently there is also construction happening around the Schakel. At the roundabout, hospitality entrepreneur Brenner Verhagen is building his new family hotel. In the coming weeks, the contours of Hotel De Biesbosch will become visible there.
The hotel also contributes to Ilmer's and the entrepreneurs' desire to further develop the marina as a residential port. We have already taken a considerable step in that direction in recent years. We have full occupancy and visitors stay longer. In 2018, a visitor stayed an average of one night in our marina, now that's more than three."
According to Ilmer, this is also thanks to the presence of the Spar supermarket. Before, visitors left for Willemstad after just one night to do their grocery shopping there. Now that they can do that here, they stay longer. If we can extend the season or even make it a year-round attraction for tourists and holidaymakers, the supermarket can stay open in the autumn and winter, too. That will then also benefit the liveability of the village."