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Karstadt closure in the city centre: Bonners worry about soon-to-be vacant store

Karstadt closure in the city centre : Bonners worry about soon-to-be vacant store

The Aachener Grundvermögen, which rents the property, is surprised by the imminent closure. The Bonn people have ideas for the future of the building.

Aachener Grundvermögen, the lessor of the Karstadt property on Poststrasse, has been surprised by the imminent closure of the branch. "We assumed that we would be able to keep Karstadt in Bonn with our offer of a more than 50 percent reduced rent," Sonja Nees from the press office of Aachener Grundvermögen told the GA on Tuesday.

So far, however, they have not yet received any notice of termination of the current rental contract from Karstadt. The Essen-based company has also not yet reacted to the new rental offer, Nees said. What will happen to Aldi and the DM store in the basement of the department store depends on Karstadt. "If Karstadt terminates its lease prematurely, the lease for DM and Aldi will automatically end," Nees said. Early termination is possible because the group is in the protective shielding process. As reported, signs have been hanging on all floors and in Karstadt's shop windows since Monday, indicating the closure.

"If we have a long vacancy, that is very dramatic," says Karina Kröber, board member of the City Marketing Association. Kröber suggests as an option that the city could accommodate its service centre there. However, she feels very sorry for the branch's employees. "From a commercial point of view, we can understand that", says Jannis Vassiliou, Chairman of the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Euskirchen retail association. He refers to the nearby Galeria Kaufhof on Münsterplatz, both stores next to each other could not be maintained in the long run. However, the closure of Karstadt would mean that a strong crowd puller would be missing. Vassiliou also suggests moving municipal offices with a lot of public traffic to this location. The first two floors, however, should once again be occupied by large-scale retail trade.

These are the ideas of the Bonn people

"Please do not open another shopping mall or something like that," says Inge Lange (73), who reacts angrily to the impending closure of the Karstadt store on Poststrasse. She will not even think about an alternative use. She feels too much for the employees. "The location is attractive," she says, but she has no idea what can be done here either. Most of the people in Bonn interviewed by the GA on site would like everything to stay as it is. "First Wehmeyer, Puppenkönig and Knauber leave," summarizes Ute Bahr (52) resignedly, "and now Karstadt as well. Maybe you should open a DIY store there, she thinks. "I could imagine a handicraft market," Bahr continues. "Maybe combined with a hardware store and some restaurants." Then she laughs and says that her "concept" to ward off a feared vacancy would actually be a "new thief“.

"The best thing would be affordable office space. We are desperately looking for them," says a man in his early thirties who does not want to read his name in the newspaper. He works for the Bonn-based International Center for Conversion (BIC) and complains about how difficult it is to find suitable office space in Bonn for the approximately 50 BIC employees.

For Hendrik Böttcher (31), converting the Karstadt floors into living space so urgently needed for Bonn would be an option. In addition, he could also imagine the building being greened. "Be it on the roof or on the outer walls. Or, if it is feasible, something like botanical gardens could be created inside." Green gardens and restaurants combined with lots of retailers would also appeal to the two 18-year-old friends Mladina Arnold and Lisa Hengstler. "One could also move the Maximiliancenter into the Karstadt building and create a large station forecourt for it," is another suggestion from Mladina, which is not seriously meant.

"Everything is conceivable, except one-euro shops," is the opinion of Marion Hübner (53). Ali Aktas (48) would like to see a Karstadt-Kaufhof competitor move in there to show that Bonn could certainly cope with one more department store. "The offer just has to be attractive," he is convinced. "I see the removal of Karstadt above all as a challenge to the city of Bonn," says Gerhard Schäfer (67). With the forthcoming election of the Lord Mayor, Schäfer says, one can assume that the candidates will probably come up with something for subsequent use.