We now have a year of Covid-19 behind us. Despite some negative impact, especially as regards commercial rents, Entwicklungsgesellschaft der Stadt Mönchengladbach (EWMG) was able to bring 2020 to a successful close. New sites for housing have been brought to the market and projects such as the redevelopment of Rheydt Main Railway Station have been initiated. Together with the city administration, EWMG will also make many things possible in 2021.
At slightly less than €13 million, sales revenue in 2020 was below the prior-year level (2019: €16.9 million). One of the main reasons was the shortage of land for development, especially in the commercial area. In addition, preparations for many new projects were carried out in 2020. These will reach the sales stage in 2021 and subsequent years. Revenue from rental and lease business in 2020 is forecast to remain virtually unchanged at €4.90 million (2019: €4.94 million). “All in all, we have mastered the corona year of 2020 well,” says Dr. Ulrich Schückhaus, Chairman of the Board of Management of EWMG. “We expect an operating profit of €0.5 million and a profit for the year of €1.9 million.” There was a fall in rental revenue which was not only due to the loss of revenue from the insolvent Karstadt Group in Rheydt. “Especially in the case of commercial tenants, we have postponed and to some extent even forgone rent payments in order to give businesses prospects for the period after Covid-19.”
Homes for everyone
Fortunately, the major development projects such as Seestadt mg+ and the Maria Hilf terraces are not affected by the crisis. “Here, Mönchengladbach is reaping the benefits of its long-term urban development strategy, ‘mg+ The Growing City’”, said Dr. Gregor Bonin, City Director and EWMG Managing Director. In 2020, considerable progress was made with the two developments. “We have seen excavators at work digging the foundations for a variety of homes in the city centre,” said Bonin, referring to the city’s residential development concept. At Seestadt mg+, Catella has requested the first sites from EWMG, the development plan has been adopted and a first planning permission application has been submitted for almost 250 homes. At the Maria Hilf terraces, Schleiff Denkmalentwicklung has been awarded the contract for the development of the group of listed buildings with a variety of homes, a childcare facility with three groups and the use of the former hospital chapel as a venue for events accessible to the public. EWMG will be bringing sites for new buildings onto the market at the end of the year. “We will be using different tendering procedures for the various sites in order to ensure a healthy mix of properties in social, architectural and economic terms,” says Schückhaus.
In 2021 and 2022, homes are also being created in the districts of Gladbach, Hardt, Bonnenbroich, Giesenkirchen, Venn and currently in Bettrath-Hoven – in total, almost 350 homes are planned in several different developments, with a share of subsidised housing. “This is good news for Mönchengladbach,” says Janann Safi, EWMG Supervisory Board Chairman. “Demand for homes for people of all ages and incomes remains at a high level. Developments show that we will need to create many more homes throughout the city area together with the other players within the city administration and private investors.” The figures bear this out. About 2,500 applications were received for the 24 sites in the first construction stage in Bettrath. The next sites in Bettrath are to be brought onto the market in the second half of 2021.
Investing and shaping the future
To retain people in Mönchengladbach and to convince new citizens of the benefits of the city, EWMG is also investing in other projects apart from residential developments. With the sport hotel at the hockey ground, as well as the new station building at Rheydt Main Railway Station, with police station, shops and offices, EWMG is providing new impetus. The same applies to the planned standard childcare facility model. This standard design for a four-group facility is based on a detached single-storey building with attractive architecture and can be realised at a number of sites with a modular wooden structure. With the new design, EWMG is expressing its commitment to energy efficiency and recyclable materials and is therefore playing its part in achieving the city’s climate objectives. “We see it as our duty to set an example at various points in order to help in shaping the quality of the city,” Schückhaus says, commenting on the projects in progress.