Developer Klaus Groth presented plans for up to 530 apartments at Mauerpark to city planning officials tonight, when residents presented them with their anger.
Groth said he had a sore throat so another Groth Gruppe representative did the talking. He outlined plans for the development to occupy around 35,620 square meters between Gleimstraße and the rail track perpendicular to the Schwedter Weg bridge, on land north of what is commonly referred to as Mauerpark, to the east of the kids’ pony farm.
The farm itself has been spared the chop under the revised plans, not that the ponies will appreciate all the construction work and new neighbors they’ll find looming over their patch.
The developers don’t know whether there’ll be 520 or 530 apartments, strange seeing as they’re the ones building them, but there you go. Maybe they’ll see how many bricks are left over.
Each apartment would be around 78 square meters, with 0.7 of a garage for each one. There’d also be around 370 parking spaces and 1,100 bicycle parking spots.
The prospect is light on further details, but your man said traffic lights would be installed, there’d be a supermarket, and that the playground would be surrounded by lower buildings, presumably to allow the children breathe.
Alexander Puell from the Friends of Mauerpark group said the whole thing smacked of a “gated community” and that politicians and investors should know residents would “fight it to the bitter end.”
They seem concerned about the impact of such a development on the existing neighborhood. Gleimstraße is the only access point for traffic.
Heiner Funken from the Mauerpark Stiftung Weltbürgerpark said it would be a case of two worlds colliding with nothing in common.
“This is not integration, this is disintegration!” he said to loud agreement.
“This is luxury homes in Mauerpark!” yelled another opponent.
“On the death strip!” someone else interjected.
“A scandal!” the original replied.
The Groth Gruppe had earlier presented plans for 600 to 700 apartments on Lehrter Straße, where I used to play football, near Hauptbahnhof.
Those plans were described as “displaced” by one planning official.
I’m not sure what happens now. I don’t know what powers the Mitte borough’s Stadtentwicklungsausschusses (urban development committee) has. Perhaps they can make recommendations.
But I suspect the developer has already struck a deal with the real powers. Mitte already gave the development its blessing on Sept. 13 and I’m sure Grohl and Woweit are shaking hands and smiling in a picture somewhere…
Wem gehört die Stadt? Time will tell. Grohl and Co. want to start building in autumn 2014.