Water damage delays Maximilian Center will probably not open until late September

Bonn · Two months after water damaged the Maximilian Center the recovery work is still continuing. Meanwhile a pharmacist fears losing his livelihood.

 The Maximilian Center remains closed.

The Maximilian Center remains closed.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

The reopening of the Maximilian Center near Bonn’s central train station has been pushed forward once again. Water damage caused to the shopping complex in June and July is apparently leading to further delays. In early August, the owner Bayerische Versorgungskammer declared that it was aiming to restart operations at the beginning of September following extensive renovation of the building’s technology and electrics. In response to a recent GA enquiry, the Versorgungskammer said that it was not possible to provide an exact opening date at the present time. A tenant at the centre has now told the GA that the Versorgungskammer had last spoken of late September as a possible date in a circular sent to the tenants.

Alexander Süß, spokesperson for the Versorgungskammer, explains the status of the work: “The drying out of the second and third basement floors is complete”. The works to dry out the first basement level have been in continuous operation for most of August, he said. “A special drying process is being used to prevent having to replace the floor finish in the Center. At the same time, work is being carried out at full speed to restore the main power supply.” The entire building technology (with the exception of the systems in the Primark shop on the ground floor) of the property, which opened in 2019, has been affected by the failure to the main power supply caused by the water damage on 20 June and has been out of operation since then.

Some of the safety-relevant systems were reconnected during the reopening of Primark in early August, but others, such as the cooling and ventilation systems, are still out of operation. “Without these essential systems, it is impossible to operate the shopping arcade. The option of another interim power supply was examined but is not feasible. Opening up sections is not possible,” explains Süß.

While the new start for the shopping centre is yet to be determined, Daniel Reuschel fears losing his livelihood. Operations at his pharmacy in the Center have been at a standstill since June. For the family father, this situation is one of two recent fateful blows. His pharmacy in Bad Neuenahr was also destroyed by the flood catastrophe in mid-July. “I'm not taking anything at the moment, but I'm sitting on a lot of expenses,” he says.

While a new opening in Bad Neuenahr is completely written in the stars, Reuschel is counting on an imminent return to Bonn for himself and his employees. “They are on the Kurzarbeit scheme, and some have already looked for new jobs. Understandable, I think.” He is often in the Maximilian Center these days, but it is not yet possible to carry out any work in preparation for a specific start date. “We are not allowed to change anything because the insurance company still has to come for the assessments.”

The advance payments from the insurance were just enough to cover the family's basic needs. “I am also confident that the damage to the Maximilian Center will be compensated. After all, it's not the fault of us tenants. But of course, no one will pay me for the loss of earnings.” Along with Reuschel, many others are hoping that the predictions made by the owner company will finally come true.

(Original text: Alexander Hertel, Translation: Caroline Kusch)

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