Friedrichstrasse in Berlin-Kreuzberg: Instead of investor district examines purchase of 500 apartments

Friedrichstrasse
:Kreuzberg wants to preempt investor when buying 500 apartments

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    Florian Thalmann

Kreuzberg's Baustadtrat Florian Schmidt (Green) at the demonstration.

Kreuzberg’s Baustadtrat Florian Schmidt (Green) at the demonstration.

Photo:

Volkmar Otto

Many tenants in Berlin are afraid of rising rents. The fear was again felt particularly clearly in a demonstration. Around 50 people took to the streets in Kreuzberg on Friday, protesting against the sale of social housing to a real estate company.

Tenants fear increase in rent after sale to real estate company

It is about a block between Friedrich and Wilhelmstrasse with over 500 residential units, which were built from 1973 to 1976 in the square on Wilhelmstrasse, Puttkamer street, Friedrichstrasse and Hedemannstrae. The previous owner, an international real estate fund, wants to separate itself from the once built with subsidies social housing – about the potential buyer was now speculated. It is said that a planned deal with the state-owned Gewobag had burst.

Now, the Deutsche Wohnen seemed to be the main interest – the company is repeatedly caught in the crossfire because of its rent policy. Tenants reported that they had seen employees of the group looking around the block. On Friday, Deutsche Wohnen announced that it was “definitely not interested” in a purchase of the block. The tenants remain in the dark. Karin H. (77) lives with her husband since 1976 in a 89 square meter attic apartment. They pay about 1000 euros warm rent – how it goes on, both do not know. “I am afraid that we will soon fly out of our apartment,” says the pensioner of the Berliner Zeitung. “I feel good here, I have all the doctors around – and my husband is seriously ill. I do not want that we have to change our neighborhood. “The residents are still paying a rent that is below the Mietspiegel. But Klaus-Peter Beyrow fears that this will change. The single pensioner (76) lives on 50 square meters, pays 490 euros warm rent. “I hope the rent stays.”

Baustadtrat von Kreuzberg wants to intervene

Simple is the sale of apartments to a private owner but not. Because the district Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg has a right of first refusal, because the block lies in a Milieuschutzgebiet. Baustadtrat Florian Schmidt (Green) makes it clear on Twitter that he wants to intervene. “Sale continues,” wrote Schmidt. The district will check the exercise of the right of first refusal “at a limited price”. Meaning: The district does not want to pay an excessive market price, but only a lower price. “Long lawsuit likely,” tweets Schmidt as a precaution. The message to the seller: He needs to be prepared to wait a long time for the sales proceeds.