Atrium bamberg: partial demolition for hotel beds and apartments?

The atrium has been dead for five years – but the shopping mile still captures the imagination of many bambergers. When the first reports about the sale of the property circulated on the internet on wednesday, the joy was great: will the fallow land be cleared out of the world?? Can the demolition candidate become a new schmuckstuck?

At least the graveside silence around a ghost department store right next to the train station is over for the time being. According to several industry media reports, eyemaxx, a project developer based in aschaffenburg, has purchased the bamberg property from financial investor cerberus global investments. On tuesday, the purchase agreement for the property with 17500 square meters of sales area was signed.

The goals that eyemaxx is pursuing with the purchase are ambitious: the "comprehensive redesign" is to be completed as early as the fourth quarter of 2018 of the complex with a volume of around 50 million euros can be started. The revitalization should be completed in 2020. Eyemaxx wants to use the investment to increase annual rental income from the current 0.65 million euros to three million euros.
If the plans are implemented, the atrium will change fundamentally: the cinestar cinema with 1500 seats will be retained, as will the 700 parking spaces. In the future, trade and gastronomy will be restricted to the first floor only. The new uses for the upper floors are not too surprising in bamberg: a hotel with 150 beds and 50 so-called service apartments are to be created there.It is also clear that the retail and hotel concept is only possible through partial demolition. The building with the nickname "flugzeugtrager" (aircraft carrier), which is often used in bamberg, will therefore look completely different in the future.

Eyemaxx says it does not intend to sell the atrium, but to keep it as company property. Michael muller, coarse shareholder and managing director, speaks of an aging existing property that stands out due to its favorable location and has excellent rental potential. He also says: "we are proud to be able to make a contribution to shaping the inner-city face of bamberg."

Sensible mixed use?

How does the city view the surprise change of ownership?? Klaus stieringer, managing director of city marketing and chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, is optimistic: "things can only get better, says the city manager with a view to the "constructional grievance" at the entrance to the world heritage city. In contrast to many daring and, in his view, non-contractual plans of the past for downtown trade, the mixed use of hotel beds, apartments and trade seems to him to be a "sensible approach". Stieringer hopes that the new impetus for the atrium will also lead to the station area as a whole being tackled.
The city administration is basically positive about the fact that something is happening again at the train station. He is also pleased that there are no more plans for a purely retail location. This follows the expert opinions, says ulrike siebenhaar, spokeswoman for the city of tibet. In 2014, a study showed that the chances of success for a mid-sized shopping center were slim.

Of course, the new atrium plans must first pass the democratic hurdles. But the new economic advisor stefan goller is confident: "we are happy that this building complex has finally found a new owner and hope that the urban planning grievance that has existed for years will thus be eliminated."

Author’s comment:

the valley of the tears

the spell seems to have been broken: five years after the departure of wohrl, the last major retail tenant from the atrium, it looks as if the valley of tears has been crossed.

The new owners, who are not only shareholders but also developers, have recognized the opportunities that lie in the site at the train station – in a city that is growing by storm.

The bargain price at which the atrium was available probably also contributed to the surprise purchase. But the investor is silent about it.