Cologne-Mülheim: Inner courtyard should give way to apartment blocks

The residents of an inner courtyard between Rixdorfer Strasse and Bredemeyerstrasse are concerned about the future. The green oasis that makes life in the surrounding houses so pleasant could soon disappear. An investor plans to put two blocks with a total of up to 44 apartments in the middle of the courtyard. In order to prevent this from happening, tenants and owners of the surrounding houses founded the residents’ initiative Interest Group (IG) construction project Noellstrasse.

The farm is located in a square between Noellstrasse in the north, Rixdorfer Strasse in the east, Berliner Strasse in the south and Bredemeyerstrasse in the west. Several buildings with rental apartments along Rixdorfer Strasse and Noellstrasse have been owned by Ejendomsselskabet Nordtyskland Kommanditaktieselskab A / S, a real estate fund from Denmark, for a few years. He is currently adding one floor to his buildings. The other buildings, also privately owned, have both rental and condominiums. In the courtyard used by all neighbors, there is more than 70 years of trees.

Trees in Mülheim’s inner courtyard are cooling off

“We were not informed of the expansion plans at all or very late,” complains tenant Cornelia Rapeque. But you and many other neighbors do not want to accept that your green oasis is lost. Another tenant, Heike Thowae, reports on how important the tree population is to all of them: “During the heatwave of 2019, it was up to ten degrees cooler in our yard than in the surrounding area.” Neighbor Ulrike Nemitz does not understand that, despite the climate crisis and the self-imposed climate emergency, the city even allows such projects: “In any case, the council decided to initiate a development plan in 2017.”

The IG also fears that the construction measures will sooner or later lead to the displacement of old tenants. Thowae: “According to a Hamburg newspaper, the fund, which belongs to a banking consortium, specifically purchases inexpensive properties in cities with a shortage of apartments in order to convert them into lucrative condominiums.”

The residents’ initiative, which is now working in the Living Working Group at the Mülheim Nord district conference, wrote to the Mayor Henriette Reker in January asking for support. “We received an acknowledgment of receipt, but after that there was radio silence,” notes Ursula Schmitz, owner of an apartment on Bredemeyerstrasse. Now the community of interest is collecting signatures to take action against the blueprints. Schmitz: “We are also planning a meeting with District Mayor Norbert Fuchs to inform him about our concerns.”