History of Woldring Verhuur History of Woldring Verhuur

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.

The history of Woldring has its origins in the early 20th century. J.J. Woldring (senior) started a store under the name Woldring Porcelain on October 1, 1911. It was a small but luxurious department store where people could buy glassware, crystal, porcelain, tableware but also perfume, small furniture and lighting. The store was located at 10 Stoeldraaierstraat where American Today is today in Groningen. During World War II, the entire street was bombed, causing extensive damage to the store. In 1956 his son A.B. Woldring became the owner of the porcelain store, which in the meantime had moved to Herestraat 8-10 opposite the famous "Koude Gat". When his son, J.J. Woldring (junior), took over in 1983, the history of Woldring also began with the operation of the property.

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.

Due to the growing success of the stores on Herestraat and Oosterstraat, and with that the income that resulted from the rentals, more properties could be purchased. After Oosterstraat, the purchase of premises in Gelkingestraat soon followed, and at the same time Woldring was able to buy the premises in Herestraat itself, which he was still renting from his father at the time. Although Woldring initially owned everything privately, he decided to establish Woldring United BV as an umbrella organization for the real estate including the companies Woldring Verhuur, Woldring Porselein and Woldring Meubel which store had been located on Friesestraatweg since 1993. A little later followed the purchase of the properties on 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)