I don’t know, but couldn’t that space have been used to create housing for people that actually live here?
by Thomas Ansell
If you’re a property developer, for the most part your mind is focused only on squeezing as much value from the land or buildings you own. The number of people unable to access housing in your locality pales into nothingness if there’s a buck to be made.
Anyway, to the city of Groningen, where news has come from Sikkom that a new 135-room hotel is to be built on the block of buildings on the corner of the Oosterstraat and Gedempte Kattendiep. Apparently, the area was supposed to become ‘Groningen’s Chinatown’, although that seems to have never really got off the ground- although Dutchified ‘Asian’ cuisine is available from DigiBytes.
The owner of the plot, Arend Jan Vegter (who also owns a building company in Veendam), seems to have a nose for profit and has decided to redevelop the plot into “Het City Hotel” (the name will probably change). It will be the biggest hotel in the city centre, and the De Zwarte Hond architects practice has been drafted in to design the place.
It must be said that the first CGI’s look like a 1960’s public housing project, but that is likely to be of little worry to people staying for a couple of nights.
The new hotel will feature a restaurant, bar, and café- whilst Happy Italy and Digibytes will remain in place: apparently the building work will only concern office space that has been empty for a decade. The new hotel is likely to be ready by 2022 or 2023, by which point someone might start to do something about the housing crisis in the city.