“I actually never tell people I live in Zuidas, but that I live on Gustav Mahlerlaan.”

Born and raised on Van Nijenrodeweg on the outskirts of Zuidas, Elkan van der Reis feels every inch the ‘Zuidasser’. Having lived in the area for so long, he has had a front row seat to all the ways it has changed. From the time he played in the sand pit that would become the A10 to now, as an entrepreneur, Elkan has seen Zuidas come into its own. These days he has a lovely apartment in Summertime and many vivid memories of all he has experienced here.

What brought you to Zuidas?
“I was born in Zuidas and basically never left. After living in Amsterdam West briefly, for around two years, I knew for sure that Amsterdam Zuid was home for me. Doing business has been my passion since my secondary school days. Is something that gives me pleasure and that I find fulfilling. Right now I am running my own sandwich shop, Broodje Gab, in Buitenveldert. And I’ve been enjoying my fantastic flat in the Summertime building for seven years now.”


Do you see yourself remaining in Zuidas?
“As far as my future in Zuidas goes, up until all hell broke loose between Israel and Gaza I would have said ‘yes’ without any hesitations, but now I’m not so sure anymore. I have been confronted with some unpleasant situations in recent months because of my Jewish heritage, and now I’m debating whether to remain in Amsterdam Zuid or live abroad. As far as I’m concerned, Zuidas has it all. It is centrally located and has good transport links, with the Zuid Station and North-South metro line nearby.”

Is there anything Zuidas lacks?
“I would like to see more planting, especially along Gustav Mahlerlaan. The lack of vegetation is a disappointment. How great would it be if some majestic trees were planted here? I would also like it if there was more going on in Zuidas at the weekends. Practically everything is closed, so I usually head for the city centre for dinner or drinks.”

What is your favourite spot in Zuidas?
“My girlfriend and I regularly go to the Limon restaurant. And on Friday nights I like to hang out at Market33. Gustav Mahlerplein is my favourite spot because it’s where I take my dog out to play. It’s quiet and there’s not much traffic, so I can let her run off her lead.”


What’s your favourite spot at home?
“In the summer, it would be my terrace, where I can enjoy the sun. Inside, my sofa has to be my favourite spot. It’s a comfy, cosy spot to watch TV and relax and unwind. And thee’s the dining room table, of course, which is where we gather to talk and enjoy company.”

How do people respond to the fact that you live in Zuidas?
“I actually never tell people I live in Zuidas, but that I live on Gustav Mahlerlaan. People tend to have preconceptions or biases about Zuidas, so I don’t shout it from the rooftops.”

What has it been like to see Zuidas develop and expand?
“It has been very cool and I can’t wait to see what else the future has in store. I’m especially interested in the development of ZuidasDok. Zuidas is about to become a city centre in its own right - it’s only a shame that it’s taking so long.”

What’s your favourite object at home?
“A colourful vase I got from my mum. She used to have it in her house and I inherited it. This vase has a tremendous emotional value for me. I also have a lot of works of art at home that belonged to my mum, and these beautiful objects are ongoing reminders of her. I also treasure the small tables that belonged to my great-grandmother. Many objects in my home have stories attached to them.”