New life in the bush

Ashok Sridharan gets bright eyes when he looks back. The Lord Mayor of Bonn is speaking at the laying of the foundation stone for the new shopping centre in the Tannenbusch district. “30 years ago, large groups of people travelled here every day, primarily to stock up on groceries in the HIT market, but it was also a marketplace and social meeting place. So it should be here again soon.”
The center – actually just an ugly collection of individual shops that looks like a temporary arrangement – is, like the entire district, in a very dilapidated state. Living, working and living – everything became less attractive from year to year. Many mistakes have been made – almost equally by the city and the economy. In specialist circles, this is called the “trading down process”. Those who come from the finer parts of the town see to it that they quickly get back from here. But the situation has changed, omissions have been recognised and measures taken. Now it goes again ahead.

VONOVIA, of Germany largest housing enterprise, invests enormously in its existence, which is considerable in fir bush, reorganizes and provides for modernizations. Also competitors of the Bochumer became long ago active and build here. Because: there is enough demand for housing. And so is the desire for attractive local supply.

The project developers Boening & Glatzel from Dormagen have recognised this and presented Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of the property who acquired it out of insolvency, with a plan which can be implemented quickly and which envisages a revitalisation into a modern specialist retail centre. The entire location could profit from this and the hardly existing trade would receive an enormous revaluation. Pleasing for all involved: The implementation has already begun!

The casino directly opposite, which in recent years has turned into a drug trading centre, has already been demolished, and the remaining shops in the old centre will follow shortly. Managing Director Matthias Böning, who for many years was CEO of the large Essen shopping center company mfi, which today has been transferred to the French Unibail Rodamco Group: “There is great potential in this location. It is an important traffic junction for local traffic and ensures that well over 10,000 people change trains here every day. The numerous neighbouring social facilities, which will become even more in the near future, are also contributing to the revitalisation and the residential environment is also changing for the better. With a new town centre and an attractive retail offering, the district will once again have a completely different face”.

Around 11,000 sqm of rental space will now be filled with life. The focus is on a large Kaufland market (approx. 7,000 sqm), but kik, Ernsting’s family, Deichmann as well as various gastronomic suppliers and consumer-oriented service providers will also present themselves on Oppelner Strasse in an inviting look. Böning and his partner Christof Glatzel, who was also a member of the mfi board, are experienced and know the ways that lead quickly to the goal. The centre is to be launched this year. “Böning: “If everything goes well, we will be ready in November and can open before the first Advent.” Already in July, on 7 July at 7 a.m., the doors should open in the new Kaufland.

Bonn’s Lord Mayor very much welcomes all this, has contributed a lot to it with the “Socially Integrative City” project and the investments in a greatly improved infrastructure and the construction of new social facilities, but also from the urban side. However, he is also pleased that a square will be created in front of the new centre that could become a new meeting place.
Yes, much is being done right in Tannenbusch again, and the new specialist retail centre could make the town centre a trade magnet once again – or more than ever. A new owner should also be found soon. Christof Glatzel: “We are in promising talks”. Promising – that is a good (provisional) final word for the new Tannenbusch.

Author: Thorsten Müller

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