AMSTERDAM – Two pension funds in Netherlands have invested $66 million in the redevelopment of one of Amsterdam’s oldest neighborhoods, including the red-light district, known for its sex and drugs trade.

The Dutch agricultural workers and Rabobank pension funds, advised by institutional property manager Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance, have taken a 35 percent stake in the novel task of rebuilding some of Amsterdam’s oldest neighborhoods, Russia Today reported.

Administered by the city council and the Stadgenoot housing corporation, the areas marked for re-development will be converted into a residential neighbourhood and an efficient hub for jobs and retailers by cutting the number of brothels and shops selling cannabis.

The metropolis has been trying to cleanse up the area since 2007 after officials announced Amsterdam had attracted criminals from Eastern Europe.

The pension funds agreed to participate in the project in return for the right to acquire land to build four residential developments worth €150 million ($165 million) outside the A10 ring road. In these areas, the funds also plan to build nearly 750 mid-priced rental apartments.