As one of the Netherlands' largest private real estate owners (list Top 300 largest landowners), real estate entrepreneur Pascal van den Heuvel of LVDH Vastgoed certainly cannot complain. Together with his partner Wouter Langeveld, he not only participates in projects, but also finances them in The Hague and beyond. MASTERS asks: who laid the foundation for his career? Text: Mical Joseph
Image: Roger Wouters, Bas Kijzer and Richard Schaap
What was your very first job?
"In grade school, at the age of 8, I worked behind the assembly line at my father's duplicating company where I packed video tapes. My father doubled my hourly wage, which of course motivated me to work even harder. I also sold stuff, mostly ugly silk shirts, at the county fair during the summer vacations. I enjoyed selling and was always working.
I knew then that I would become an entrepreneur, but specifically in what? I didn't know that yet. In any case, successful entrepreneurship would be the ultimate goal."
By the way, do you come from a nest of entrepreneurs?
"Yes, my father, my grandfathers, my uncles and aunts were all entrepreneurs. It's in my blood and I can't imagine anything else either. I have a bit of a problem with authority and authority at times, so being 'my own boss' is excellent for me."
You were a doerak as a teenager and barely graduated from high school. At age 19, your father died and you "saw the light. What were you going to do then?
"After the death of my father, I really noticed the meaning of life and how close life and death are to each other. I began and completed my studies at InterCollege Business School. Then I worked at the bank and delved more and more into finance."
Pascal van den Heuvel with his associate Wouter Langeveld
How did you end up in your current job?
"That banking business was fine, but I didn't get any satisfaction from it. I saw friends around me who were doing good business with their passion, real estate, and who were getting a lot of satisfaction out of it. I decided to buy a property, renovate it and rent it out. This worked well and the construction made me want more. I started with one apartment, then two, which eventually resulted in sixty renovations in The Hague at the same time. I put every euro into the business."
During the crisis in 2008, you met your current partner Wouter Langeveld. What characterizes your partnership?
"I see opportunities, make the deal and take care of the creative part. Wouter actually handles everything 'behind the deal': administration, strategy, contracts and deal handling. We are an absolute complement and so we each have our qualities. Reinvesting everything and then expanding, that's our philosophy."
What did you learn from your partnership?
"I am a control freak and over the years I have learned to trust more in certain things. Wouter and I have developed a tremendous sense of loyalty to each other. It's nice to share certain things, but also to let things go, if necessary."
Who was your wheelbarrow?
"Throughout my career, I accomplished things largely on my own, but I also benefited greatly from my godfather. For example, at the beginning he often went with me for credit appointments."
The new construction project Coolbase in Rotterdam
Do you also do business outside The Hague?
"We focus mainly on real estate projects in The Hague, but last year we did buy a large project in Rotterdam. It is a high-end new construction project, a residential tower called Coolbase, next to the Euromast. In Heiligenhaus, Germany, we are also currently developing 125 care apartments. In April we will start construction on the project."
What is your greatest passion in your profession?
"I get the biggest kick out of making deals, but besides that I think the great thing about real estate is that you really create something and see results. I also find it important to contribute to the city and its urban development. It is wonderful to drive through the city and spot my gems that used to be ruins."
What has been the biggest learning moment in your career?
"The death of my father gave me a eureka moment. I had attended five high schools including two boarding schools, wanted to make something of my life and pursue my dreams. Despite being severely dyslexic and having ADD, I decided I did want to go to college."
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
"Work hard, follow your passion and follow your heart. Don't be afraid when you are young, create your own opportunities and jump into the deep end. Then the rest will come naturally."
You are in the top 300 largest property owners in the Netherlands. Where do you see yourself in five years?
"Real estate is getting harder because the regulations are getting harder. What I find unfortunate is that real estate is becoming over-regulated. For example, we have been trying for four years to get a permit to convert an old school into 20 apartments in The Hague. The Lower House wants to thwart investors. My companion and I do remain operative, but in addition we are looking more broadly by investing in other companies and startups. It is often the case that young people have the enormous ambition, but not yet the means. Wouter and I enjoy helping young talent both within real estate and beyond. I enjoy seeing how young entrepreneurs are working on their plan and recognize a lot in it from my younger self."
Who to watch out for in real estate land? Who are the new kids in town?
"I recognize a lot of myself in the guys at HVM Vastgoed. Roderick Dekker, Mischa Bargi and Leonard Esche Rozendaal work extremely hard and are dedicated to putting down beautiful projects. We also regularly do projects together with them."
Have you been a wheelbarrow for anyone?
"Besides helping the younger generation, I also connect different entrepreneurs for investment. For various scale-ups and startups, I bring people together to go for a goal together. In doing so, I find it important that it clicks both professionally and personally."
Pascal is a member of the MASTERS League. Membership in the MASTERS LEAGUE is a special privilege. This year there is room for a selected number of members and we are treating registration on a first come, first served basis. The exclusive business club is part of MASTERS HQ and brings pleasant and special privileges that will make networking one of your favorite activities. Do you think you fit the profile of a MASTERS Member? Email Then send your application to Mical Joseph and maybe you can call yourself a MASTERS Member in 2021!