Bonn The Urban-Soul-Piazza on Maximilianstraße is taking shape. The first cafés and restaurants are expected to liven up the area this autumn. A carpet of light over the square will create a friendly atmosphere.
Although there are still some gaps in the new asphalt, most of the large shop windows are still empty. And yet the newly created space at the back of the new Motel One between the main station and Maximilianstraße is taking shape. The investor Urban Soul invited visitors to take a tour of the construction site on Tuesday, and cafés and restaurants are expected to liven up the area during the autumn. And, contrary to recent criticism, it should also be bright.
The Urban Soul Piazza is the next building block of the new station environment, which has been given a completely new look in recent months and years with the demolition and new construction of the southern superstructure and the development of the Bonner Loch as well as the City Office and the new multi-storey car park on Rabinstraße. Work on the pedestrian bridge, which will connect the multi-storey car park and platform 1 in a barrier-free manner in future, has also made noticeable progress. At the same time, Urban Soul is completing the piazza, which extends from the entrance of Motel One in the direction of Maximilianstraße.
For Bastian Julius, the fact that not even the Corona pandemic was able to slow down lettings significantly is not only pleasing from a business point of view: The Urban Soul managing director sees it above all as a quality certificate for the location: "One of the tenants signed in the middle of the lockdown when really nothing was going on," he says. The company has already seen that the Motel One in particular functions as a magnet for other catering businesses on Düsseldorf's Immermannstraße, where the Motel One has also attracted additional walk-in customers. "Its clientele", according to Julius, is mainly in the surrounding area.
There will obviously be no shortage of opportunities: in late autumn, the café operator Kaffeesaurus, whose concept with its own roasting plant and small dishes can already be experienced at the Cologne locations Friesenplatz and Barbarossaplatz, and Ma'loa, which brings a touch of Hawaii to the city centres with more than ten locations such as Berlin, Paris, Hamburg and Cologne, will settle here. The foundation for the food style is the Hawaiian national dish Poké, which combines the flavours of Japan, Polynesia and the US West Coast
500 seats to be available outside
Together with the Sander Restaurant, which offers a wide range of products from breakfast and lunch to classic restaurant and bar services in the evening as an all-day concept, there will be around 500 seats available outside. The hotel will also be serving guests outside. This means that a total of almost 1,500 square metres of catering space have been leased, with around 350 square metres remaining only in the Lifestyle House opposite the main railway station. Urban Soul's new gastronomy offering will be complemented by the cult Five Guys burger chain, which will be located just around the corner on Poststraße, directly opposite the station.
"In this way, the piazza will become a lively place in the city all day long," Julius is convinced. He also assumes that the 24-hour operation of the 470-bed hotel will provide the necessary degree of "social control". If necessary, says Julius, a security service can be "switched on". As recently reported, there are repeated complaints about the drug milieu in the vicinity of the station.
A spectacular lighting concept is needed to ensure that the areas created do not become a place of fear: According to Julius, the Bonn-based lighting design office "Licht Kunst Licht" will span a net-like carpet of light across the square. Incidentally, the underground railway station car park (Münsterstrasse entrance) with its 100 parking spaces is also scheduled to be ready for use again in November. The way out leads directly to the new piazza.
(Original text: Rüdiger Franz, Translation: Mareike Graepel)