Plans for slaughterhouse premises New concert hall in Bonn is getting more probable

Bonn · It stood empty for eight years and decayed: The city council now wants to sell the derelict ex-slaughterhouse to the public utilities. They are to reserve an area in the Weststadt for the rock and pop centre, also called "Westwerk", which has been planned for years.

 The old slaughterhouse (centre) is to be demolished. On the left you can see the waste incineration plant. On the right part of the site the Westwerk could be built.

The old slaughterhouse (centre) is to be demolished. On the left you can see the waste incineration plant. On the right part of the site the Westwerk could be built.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Something new could soon emerge from the ruins of the old slaughterhouse. After eight years of vacancy and decay, the breakthrough is in sight for the 28,661 square meter property in the Weststadt. The municipality wants to sell it to its own public utility company, which, together with the owner of the neighbouring areas, which are more than twice as large, wants to redevelop the entire triangle between Immenburgstrasse, Am Dickobskreuz and the railway tracks. The Westwerk, a hall for pop and rock concerts that has been under discussion for years, is also to be located there.

Both the Jamaica coalition and the city administration want the Westwerk project. This is also to be reflected in the purchase contract with the Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), as can be seen from a non-public draft resolution for the council. The SWB must therefore offer a "settlement opportunity under private law for the Pop Culture Competence Centre", it says.

A buy-back right of the city is to underpin this demand. With this decision, the administration is formally obtaining the green light for negotiations with the municipal utilities. According to GA research, a majority in the council should be certain. The purchase price also depends on the demolition and disposal costs on the slaughterhouse grounds, which the city estimates at more than three million euros.

SWB to found new company with partner

As soon as SWB has become the owner, a decisive step will be taken: The municipal group wants to found a joint company with "Bauprojekte ehemaliger Güterbahnhof Bonn GmbH", in order to develop the entire area. Behind the GmbH, which owns 63,414 square metres there, is the Bonn entrepreneur Detlev Klaudt. "We have agreed with the municipal utilities to establish a project company to which both sides will contribute their plots of land," confirms Klaudt upon request. "This company would then act as developer.“

According to the draft resolution, SWB's plans envisage a 'disposal and innovation triangle'. On the area to be reorganized, a recycling yard for Bonnorange, a building yard for the civil engineering office, a carbon dioxide reduction plant of the waste incineration plant (MVA), areas for recycling and laboratory companies, office buildings and a multi-storey car park are to be created. The Westwerk-Halle is conceivable near the railway tracks, the city writes. Apparently, the eastern corner of the area, which belongs to the Klaudt property, is meant. There, the event center would be directly accessible from Immenburgstraße.

The group that wants to establish the Centre for Pop Music has not been informed about the new developments by the city administration. "Nobody has spoken to us for a long time," says the former Rhine culture maker Holger Jan Schmidt. And: "The city's communication had been more intense before." The project will be pursued further, but for the time being will rest. The planned project company Westwerk KG could be founded at any time, as soon as concrete negotiations were underway. The council had decided in 2015 to give the KG an area of land under a ground lease. This decision is now to be revoked in order to implement the new solution.

Revitalisation of the area: Streetfood and Bowlingcenter?

Originally, entrepreneur Klaudt wanted to buy the slaughterhouse area himself. His plans included a hotel, offices and catering facilities. But MVA managing director Manfred Becker had a control report drawn up, in which the lawyers warn of possible restrictions on the waste recycling operation. These concerns also apply to the Westwerk. Directly next to the waste incineration plant, SWB therefore only wants to locate "robust business". What will then remain on the remaining areas of Klaudt's concept is unclear.

"We would like to continue to build something beautiful that will help revitalize the area - a street food court or bowling center, for example," the entrepreneur emphasizes. "The planning and further discussions will show what is possible." The Westwerk idea, in any case, inspires Detlev Klaudt. Especially if the city were to build the pedestrian bridge over the railway line, which has been discussed for years, and which would create a connection from the concert hall to the Nordstadt. "We have a unique opportunity on this central site," emphasises the man from Bonn. "We could even stand up to Cologne as a concert venue there."

(Original text: Andreas Baumann; Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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