GA English on Sunday News in Brief from Bonn and the region

High-rise building at the new Kanzlerplatz is nearing completion, Covid rates are shooting up in Bonn, and Sportbox fitness equipment is put to the test by the GA - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region
Foto: Nicolas Ottersbach

New Kanzlerplatz due for completion in autumn

BONN. There is not much time left to complete the high-rise building on the Bundeskanzlerplatz in Bonn. The building owner Art-Invest Real Estate has said autumn is the target. The first tenants, including Deutsche Bank and a restaurant, have already moved into the two smaller low-rise buildings. The corona pandemic and a shortage of materials and manpower caused by the flooding disaster have stalled progress at the Kanzlerplatz - the building at the prestigious address was supposed to be completed last year.

For decades the Bonn-Center had been on this site with its distinctive Mercedes star on the roof. And the chancellor’s bungalow and government quarter across the street were home to Germany’s power centre. This was why it pained many locals to see the 40-year-old, 18 storey high-rise structure razed to the ground in 2017 following its acquisition by Art-Invest in 2014, with no one able to imagine what could take its place.

Now the ‘New Kanzlerplatz’ is rising like a phoenix from the ashes. A symbol for a new Bonn that has grown from a dependent capital into an independent federal city. With 28 floors and a height of exactly 101.5 metres, the building towers over Reuterstrasse, dwarfing the adjacent railway tracks, new apartment blocks, and, depending on the position of the sun, the Museumsmeile too. From the roof, even the Post Tower, which is another 60 metres taller, appears to be at eye-level. The UN building ‘Lang Eugen’ at 114 metres certainly is.

Around 66,000 square metres of gross floor space have been created and 4,500 people are expected to bring the offices to life. Only a fraction of this space is still available. Deutsche Bank is the main tenant, occupying the two low-rise buildings, with their surroundings open to the public.

The area occupied by Deutsche Bank, who took over the Postbank, equates to around two thirds of the space available to rent in the three buildings - in Haus 1, the high-rise building, and Haus 2, floors one to six have been rented out. Floors 1 to 5 in Haus 3 are sub-leased to Postbank Systems which was taken over by the Indian company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

Design Offices, an office services provider, is located in Haus 1 with around 7700 square metres. In addition to Conet, who has leased around 7,500 square metres on ten floors in the high-rise building, and the tax consultancy firm Juhn Partner, who will occupy 750 square meters on the 24th floor, is another catering company, Food Affairs, who will operate the central food court on the first floor of Haus 3, which is also open to the public. Here a mixture of international street food, vegetarian dishes and regional specialities will be on offer.

“Bonn’s best address” as Art-Invest Real promotes it, is expensive. The rent is well above the average price for office space in Bonn which is around 13 euros per square metre. At the New Kanzlerplatz it is over 20 euros - due to the central location and the high standard of finishings, says the investor, who does not give the exact prices. “Individual rent is agreed depending on the location of the floor in the building and the standard of the finishings”.

(Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach)

Incidence rate in Bonn is rocketing - hospitals filling up with Covid patients

BONN. The incidence rate in Bonn has shot up again: On Friday the NRW State Health Centre (LZG) reported a 7-day incidence rate of 662.5 infections per 100,000 people, On Thursday this figure had been 516.4. Hospitals in Bonn have also seen an increasing number of covid patients on standard wards over the last few days. 96 people are currently being treated in hospital. 78 of these are on normal wards and 18 are in intensive care. Eight patients have required artificial respiration (as of 23 June).

Along with the growing number of infections, the city authorities have reported an increasing demand for vaccinations at the vaccination centre in the city hall. Opening times have therefore been extended at the centre: From Wednesday 29 June the centre will open two hours earlier, from 12 noon to 6 pm and also on every other Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. No appointments are needed. More information is available in German at:

Deputy spokesperson Marc Hoffmann explained that people testing positive with a Bürgertest are reported to the health authorities but are not included in the incidence rate statistics. He said that only PCR test results confirmed in a lab are being counted in the official figures. “We are expecting another wave of infections in the autumn at the latest, but we don't know yet what the effects will be”, said Susanne Engels, head of the health office. This is why the city’s vaccination services are still in place and can be ramped up at any time, she explained.

(Original text: lis)

Training on the Rhine: Sportbox fitness equipment in Bonn

BONN. From the outside, the Sportbox by the opera house in Bonn looks like a nondescript power box. The inside contains a large selection of fitness equipment. The doors to this outdoor gym overlooking the Rhine can be unlocked via an app. The GA put it to the test.

The Sportbox was set up on the Rhine promenade in summer 2020. The Bonn city authorities bought it from the company ‘app and move’, based near Hamburg, who has Sportboxes in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands according to its website. The company says that the boxes are mostly purchased by local authorities and health insurance companies. A box costs 10,990 EUR with additional service fees of 135 EUR for the app and utilisation, the company told the GA.

To gain access to the equipment, the user must install the SportBox app on their mobile phone. The app is available in the Apple Store and the Android Playstore. There is a one-off registration fee of 50 cents. The first training session can then by booked via the calender in the app. The one-hour time slot can be reserved between 6 am and 9 pm. There are usually enough free slots available.

When you go to the box at the pre-booked time, you can open the door by clicking a button in the app. The only things you need to bring along are your mobile phone and a bottle of water. The app also provides short videos with exercises for endurance and also for the specific equipment.

The following equipment is available in the box:

  • Yoga mats
  • Skipping ropes
  • Medicine balls, resistance bands and weights (kettlebells) in different sizes
  • Foam rollers
  • Battle ropes: The thickest - and accordingly the heaviest - rope is attached to holes in the Sportbox so that you can hold both ends and wave the ropes in different motions. Guaranteed to get you in a sweat!
  • Speed ladders: The mobile ladders can be laid out on the ground and used for dribbling drills and coordination exercises.
  • Mini orange cones
  • Frisbees, badminton rackets, howler rockets
  • TRX straps for bodyweight resistance training

For emergencies there is also a small red bag with first aid items like plasters and bandages. To protect the equipment from being stolen, the box also has a control system with cameras. According to the manufacturer, this system checks that all the equipment is still there before and after every booking.

(Original text: Julia Rosner und Christine Ludewig)
(Translations: Caroline Kusch)

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