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König Fahd Academy in Bad Godesberg: City of Bonn made an offer to Saudi Arabia

König Fahd Academy in Bad Godesberg : City of Bonn made an offer to Saudi Arabia

The König Fahd Academy in Lannesdorf has been empty since 2017 and its future is still uncertain. The city has carried out a valuation and communicated the result to the Kingdom's legal representatives – since October 2020, the city administration has been waiting for a response.

Since 2017, the König Fahd Academy in Lannesdorf has been empty, and since then the future of the property has been uncertain. The Green Party has now asked the city administration in a major question to find out what the current state of affairs is. Last summer, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it was prepared to sell the land and the building - the administration was to submit a corresponding purchase offer.

Last year, the city announced that the Office for Land Management and Geoinformation would prepare a valuation. In the meantime, the city has also communicated the result to the Kingdom.

City of Bonn awaits feedback

"The result has been available to the legal representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since the end of October 2020 for feedback. A reaction on the part of the legal representatives or the owner is still pending," according to the Office for Economic Development in the statement to the major question from the Greens. How long the corresponding negotiations could still last is "currently not foreseeable". An internationally active law firm in Berlin is advising the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on legal matters and has been commissioned to protect its interests in the sale of its land in Bonn. Previously, negotiations had been difficult because the position of ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Berlin had been vacant for a long time. In February 2019, Saudi Arabia "sent a new ambassador in the person of His Excellency Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud," it said at the time. Shortly thereafter, the embassy hired the firm, it said.

City of Bonn has many ideas for future use

The so called Große Anfrage (Grand Inquiry) also asks whether the City of Bonn's right of repurchase is tied to an appropriate deadline. "The contract on which the transfer of the property to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based does not contain any time limit for the exercise of the right of repurchase," the city said.

Meanwhile, the city administration says it already has many ideas on how to use the building in the future. "The specialist administration is currently in contact with a large number of municipal departments in order to elicit internal/city and also external possible uses," the city said. It said it has "already compiled various ideas." "As soon as concrete results are available, the administration will present them to the politicians," promises the Office for Economic Development.

However, not only is the city interested in using the property, but others are interested as well. "The administration has received inquiries from private individuals, companies, associations, church communities and social institutions for use for church, school, social and educational purposes," the statement says. However, the inquiries have not yet been examined for their planning/building code approvability or economic viability, since the city's interest in the future use of the property must first be determined.

Most recently, the academy had 150 students

In mid-2016, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it would close the König Fahd Academy, citing the good German education system as the reason. The school on Mallwitzstrasse was threatened with closure in 2003 because of Islamist machinations and a reputation for teaching Islamist ideas. Most recently, about 150 students attended the academy.

(Original text: Maximilian Mühlens, Translation: Mareike Graepel)