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Berlin buys two land plots at Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

View of Checkpoint Charlie

The long-stalled efforts to redevelop the area at the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing in the centre of Berlin are apparently getting underway.

As the Senate Finance Administration announced on Tuesday, Berlin is acquiring two partial sites on both sides of Friedrichstraße, which are intended for an educational and memorial site and a town square. Together with the insolvency administrator and a private prospective buyer selected by him, a corresponding agreement was reached and notarised on Monday.

"Living up to our responsibility towards this historic site"

"The acquisition of the two sites is a great opportunity for the state of Berlin in terms of urban development policy," explained Finance Senator Daniel Wesener (Greens). "We want to take advantage of it and thus also live up to our responsibility towards this historic site." Further details, such as the private buyer involved or details of the purchase price, were not initially disclosed. The Berlin House of Representatives must approve the deal.

Checkpoint Charlie is a symbol of the Cold War

Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstraße is considered a symbol of the Cold War. After the Wall was built in 1961, American and Soviet tanks faced each other here. For many years, the area in a prime city location has degenerated into a kind of Disneyland for tourists, according to critics.

Politicians want to create a dignified place of remembrance

Efforts by politicians have been underway for years to create a dignified place of remembrance of history and at the same time to bring order to the confusion, which is also due to the complicated ownership structure of the sites. Several of them are managed by an insolvency administrator who has now probably found a private investor. The latter, in turn, has now reached an agreement with the Senate to transfer certain areas from the package to the state. In this way, the area could now be developed jointly by an investor and the public sector.

Development plan decided in early 2020

Most recently, the Trockland Group had acquired the land charge for land at Checkpoint Charlie and developed its own plans. In January 2020, however, the Berlin House of Representatives passed a development plan for the area that thwarted Trockland's plans. It envisages a museum, a city square and mixed development with a high proportion of flats on the site.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 25 October 2022
Last updated: 25 October 2022

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