The RAG site on Hafenstraße in Saarbrücken/Germany, where the group’s administration building was located from 1978, was officially sold off to Altin Immobiliengruppe on 17th August 2017 (Figure 1). The demolition of the former administration building was a prerequisite, to allow the construction of a new four-star hotel on the same plot.
“A new hotel can soon start being built at this prominent site in the heart of Saarbrücken, which is a historic location for us,” announced Prof. Hans-Peter Noll, Chairman of the Executive Board of RAG Montan Immobilien GmbH, Essen/Germany, at the official handover of the plot. The property subsidiary of RAG Aktiengesellschaft, RAG Montan Immobilien has been entrusted with site and project development work for almost 40 years now. Its remit is to ensure that former mining areas are re-used on a sustainable basis at various locations in the Ruhr and Saar regions. “We take our responsibility very seriously and are doing our bit to help structural change in the Saarland. That always succeeds most effectively in places where we can work together with the federal state, municipality and private investors,” affirmed Prof. Noll.
The building, which was erected in the 1970s, was the workplace of roughly 800 employees when used as the Saarbergwerke administration building. At that time, it was an extremely modern office block with open-plan offices. “But that was exactly what caused us problems when approaching the market,” explained Christoph Happe, Head of Property Sales at RAG Montan Immobilien. The building may have been modern in the 1970s and 1980s, but no investors came forward who were prepared to revitalise the building. Only the plot itself was of interest. “Of course, financial interests are at the forefront when we’re selling property. Nevertheless, right from the start we held constructive talks with the state government, represented by Jürgen Barke, State Secretary for Financial Affairs, and the City of Saarbrücken on potential re-use of the plot in the general context of the planned trade fair centre,” explained Happe. In the end, Altin Immobiliengruppe was convinced in all respects.
“We are proud that the Steigenberger group is coming to Saarbrücken and is working together with us to open the new InterCityHotel. As a native of the Saarland, this site has my firm backing,” affirmed Mehmet Altin, Chief Executive of the property group. The new building will contain 170 hotel rooms in a prominent location, in addition to a new multi-storey car park. The architectural firm Wandel Lorch is responsible for the building’s façade, while Matteo Thun & Partners are taking care of the interior design. The InterCityHotel is set to open in 2019.
Secretary of State for Financial Affairs Jürgen Barke, who has backed the construction of the new hotel right from the start, said: “I am delighted that we are going to have a new hotel at this site, with its excellent transport links and close proximity to the Congresshalle concert hall, Europa-Galerie shopping mall and Bahnhofstraße. This will ensure the old plot of land will be used sustainably.” He considers the demolition of the former administration building and the renovation of the site to be a prime example of structural change in the Saarland. “The new hotel will be an important building block in the further development of Saarbrücken as a congress and trade
fair location, and will strengthen tourism in the city,” said Mr Barke. He believes the endeavours of RAG and Altin Immobiliengruppe are a win for the state capital and the entire Saarland region. For the State Secretary for Financial Affairs, Jürgen Barke, it is a positive sign that private investors in particular believe in the location. (RAG Montan Immobilien/Si.)