History of Woldring Verhuur

With almost 650 apartments, studios, rooms, houses, shops and parking spaces, Woldring Verhuur is a big name in Groningen. Because of our vast experience in this market, it is not without reason that there have been many satisfied tenants over the years. Although almost everyone in the city knows the name Woldring, not many know the rich history of the company.

De geschiedenis van Woldring kent haar oorsprong in het begin van de 20ste eeuw. J.J. Woldring (senior) startte op 1 oktober 1911 een winkel onder de naam Woldring Porselein. Het was een klein, maar luxe warenhuis waar men terecht kon voor glaswerk, kristal, porselein, tafelbestek maar ook voor parfum, kleine meubelen en verlichting. De winkel was gevestigd in de Stoeldraaierstraat 10 op de plek waar tegenwoordig American Today zit in Groningen. Tijdens de 2e Wereldoorlog werd de gehele straat gebombardeerd, waardoor de winkel veel schade opliep. In 1956 werd zijn zoon A.B. Woldring eigenaar van de porseleinwinkel die inmiddels was verhuisd naar de Herestraat 8-10 tegenover het beroemde “Koude Gat”. Toen diens zoon, J.J. Woldring (junior), het stokje overnam in 1983 begon ook de geschiedenis van Woldring met de exploitatie van het onroerend goed.

Under the management of J.J. (Joop) Woldring business continued well. Almost everyone in Groningen was now familiar with Woldring Porcelain. The business had become so successful in Herestraat that the premises were too small to meet the great demand for the many articles that were sold. A second shop was therefore bought at Oosterstraat 19 in Groningen and named after the manager of that shop, the "firm Spekman".

Founder of Woldring Verhuur next to his car
Photo: J.J. Woldring (middle) next to his car, 02-11-1931 (G. Straatman, via www.groningerkentekens.nl)

This building, known to the old inhabitants of Groningen as the former toy store "Kinderparadijs", was on the spacious side. Joop Woldring was already very concerned about the housing problems in the city and therefore knew immediately what this space should be used for: decent student housing in the city center. Therefore, the remaining warehouse space was slowly but surely converted into several student rooms.

Door het groeiende succes van de winkels in de Herestraat en de Oosterstraat en daarbij de inkomsten die voortvloeiden uit de verhuur, konden er meer panden worden aangekocht. Na de Oosterstraat volgde snel de aankoop van panden in de Gelkingestraat en tegelijkertijd kon Woldring het pand in de Herestraat zelf overkopen, hetgeen hij toen nog huurde van zijn vader. Hoewel Woldring in eerste instantie alles in privébezit had, besloot hij Woldring United BV als een overkoepelende organisatie op te richten voor het onroerend goed met daaronder de bedrijven Woldring Verhuur, Woldring Porselein en Woldring Meubel welke winkel sinds 1993 aan de Friesestraatweg gevestigd was. Even later volgde de aankoop van de panden aan de A-weg, Havenstraat, Haddingestraat, Hereweg, Jozef Israëlsstraat, Schoolholm, Soephuisstraatje, Stoeldraaierstraat, Verzetsstrijderslaan, etc.

Woldring furniture formerly on Friesestraatweg
Photo: Old furniture store on the place where now the Woldring location is located on the Friesestraatweg (Own archive)

Although Woldring was doing well in business, fate struck in his private life. Oliver Woldring, his only son, died unexpectedly at a young age in 2002, leaving Woldring United BV as the sole successor to the family business. Faced with this event, Joop Woldring felt he was no longer able to run the shops actively, so he sold the porcelain and furniture shops to one of his employees, leaving the real estate in Woldring United BV.

A piece of family history disappeared from the center of Groningen as a result, such as the large "tap pot" in the Herestraat and the huge wicker chair on the sidewalk of the Stoeldraaierstraat.

The rental company obviously suffered from the crisis in 2008, but nevertheless the company continued to grow. Woldring always believed that rent allowance should be possible, also for student rooms, but when the legislation didn't seem to change, he decided to upgrade the accommodations himself in order to make rent allowance possible for the tenants.

On the old furniture location at the Friesestraatweg the idea arose in 2013 to build a large residential complex. This project was named "the Woldring Location" and a residential building with no less than 435 apartments was built with a fitness center, sauna and various commercial spaces. This building was so well reviewed by everyone that the beautiful design ended in the top during the Groninger Architecture Month in 2020.

Construction work by Woldring Location
Photo: The development of the Woldring location in full swing (Own archive)