Shops instead of vacancies: Duisburg receives money for the city center

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Duisburg.
Duisburg receives 195,000 euros from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to combat vacancies in the pedestrian zone. Retail and catering are promoted.

Goodbye vacancies, hello new shops: The city of Duisburg would like to rent or temporarily buy vacant shops and real estate in the city center in order to revive the pedestrian zone as a shopping street. For this she receives a good 195,000 euros from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The money comes from the “Immediate Program Downtown 2020” of the NRW municipal ministry.

Shopping on Koenigstrasse? For many Duisburgers not a tempting prospect, not only on Facebook one can read again and again devastating criticism of the shopping mile. A central point of criticism: the many vacancies along Königstraße, Kuhstraße, Sonnenwall and Wallstraße.

City: 14 shops are empty in Duisburg’s pedestrian zone

According to the city, there are only 14 shops on all four streets that are empty; this number was “currently determined by the GfW Duisburg (Society for Economic Development) and city management,” says city spokesman Sebastian Hiedels. “The focus is on the Sonnenwall and Kuhstrasse area.” In 2019, an appraisal from the city center only confirmed 142 vacancies.

Shopping centers such as Forum and Königsgalerie are not included in the city count. While the vacancy rate in the forum is negligible, more than half of the shops in the Königsgalerie are vacant (we reported).

The NRW municipal ministry’s funding program aims to combat vacancies

When it comes to combating vacancies, the city’s hands are usually tied: If it is not a landlord itself, it cannot specifically acquire new businesses as a tenant. Renting unused space costs a lot of money.

The “City Center 2020 Immediate Program” starts at both points. The local ministry is making 70 million euros available to cities

– Can rent empty shops,

– be able to temporarily acquire buildings in order to sublet them or demolish them,

– Can get advice on whether – in the event of massive vacancies – it is necessary to downsize retail locations.

Inner city development with start-ups or shops for agricultural products

The local ministry has specific requirements for leasing and interim acquisitions: The use of the millions is about “frequency-generating offers”. Examples include start-ups from retail or gastronomy, shops for the direct sale of agricultural products or new offers of delivery services. Uses for culture, neighborhood and education are also possible, for example repair cafés are mentioned here.


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The state of North Rhine-Westphalia bears 90 percent of the costs for the immediate program for inner cities, the cities themselves only have to pay ten percent. The local ministry is obviously of the opinion that the help is necessary: ​​there are “massive vacancies” in the city centers, and online trading has been “significantly strengthened” by Corona. That means “not to be expected that everything will be as it was before”.

Young Duisburg criticizes the city: “Only 195,189 euros applied for”

Young Duisburg raises criticism of Duisburg’s share in the funding program: “Unfortunately, Duisburg has only applied for 195,189 euros for the inner city,” complains the parliamentary group chairman Stephan Wedding.

His party suggests using the money to “develop the area around Münzstrasse into a creative quarter”. It is important to “avoid the bleak sight of yawning empty shops and bleak shop windows”.

>> HOW DUISBURG CAN FIGHT VACANCY WITH MONEY

  • In addition to the money for the city center, Duisburg receives 99,000 euros from the NRW funding program for one
    Center management in Hochheide
    .

  • Expenditures are funded from the program for up to two years
    Rent vacant shops
    that are up to 300 square feet.

  • If the city rents out such shops, it may
    Altmiete
    thereby by up to 80 percent
    to reduce
    .

.

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