Location3 magazine - May 26, 2020
If you look outside the window these days and weeks, it may almost seem as if your own neighbourhood, your own city, almost the whole world held its breath for a moment.
No planes in the sky, no innercity traffic chaos, no kindergarten or school, but also no lively activities in the parks or open-air restaurants during spring temperatures – no doubt, the Corona crisis aff ects us all. It is a stress and character test, with major changes for each one of us, but also for the whole of social life, for European solidarity and the global economy. Protecting people’s health is a priority. However, it is not yet possible to foresee at this stage fully what impact the shutdown will have on economic life and on our partners and tenants. Many, and especially smaller companies, are today struggling to survive. How to stabilise operations in such a phase? How to adjust the strategy in order to be able to grow again during and especially after the crisis? And what does this mean for leading employees?
At VGP too, we have seen this change in recent weeks. Many employees work from their home office. I myself am sitting quite unusually at home in my study while writing this text. We nevertheless have shown impressively in recent weeks that the "New Normal" at VGP does not mean standing still. I am really impressed by what we have achieved together since the beginning of the restrictions necessitated by the pandemic.
Our managers and teams have made an unparalleled commitment to ensuring that the health, safety and well-being of our employees and partners are always our top priority, while at the same time maintaining business operations. Apart from a few temporary interruptions, all our pre-leased development projects have resumed with minimal delays. For example, we further expanded our cooperation with the Allianz Group and successfully raised capital through the private placement of new shares.
I am proud of all the employees who keep our business running every day. Their team spirit, solidarity and personal commitment set an example for us all in this exceptional situation.
We at VGP think long term – the right balance between tradition, innovation and sustainability is the foundation for our daily work. It has just now become clear that this guiding principle is a solid foundation that stands firm even in stormy times like these. With a full order book, a diversified and high-quality tenant portfolio across a wide range of industries and regions and a strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to master the current situation. Nobody can predict exactly what the consequences of the pandemic will be in the future, nor can anyone promise anything. However, the answer to this uncertainty must not lead to a sense of resignation. It is precisely when things get difficult that we must set ourselves goals and do something about them – individually, together, as citizens, as Europeans, as companies.
You will learn more about our projects and goals on the following pages.
Stay healthy and take care of yourselves and your loved ones!
Jan Van Geet