Amid frustration surrounding Berlin’s rent increases, a controversial idea has emerged. But would the state seriously consider forced socialization of properties owned by large companies? Once the capital of affordable rents, prices have increased in Berlin to a point where in some areas even high earners cannot afford to keep pace. Week after week new stories emerge about rising competition for affordable apartments, with open viewings frequently attracting more than 100 hopeful tenants. From strengthening rent controls (Mietpreisbremse), encouraging the building of new apartments or restricting foreign investment, government and tenancy advocacy groups have developed a range of policy approaches to halt the increases. The latest idea, is a referendum on ‘expropriating’ - i.e. a forced buyback by the government - flats owned by large companies. SEE ALSO: Germany's housing crisis: Is development without displacement possible? Supporters of the … [Read more...] about Plan emerges for a ‘radical solution’ to lower rising rents in Berlin
Berlin real estate
It’s the site where Google had proposed to open one of its Campus startup hubs, but abandoned the plans, announcing this week that the space would go to two social organizations instead. “The decision is very positive,” beams Achim Koppitsch, who runs the Heisse Scheiben record store on Ohlauer Straße, across from the Umspannwerk. He's one of the locals who feared having Google in the ‘Kiez’ or neighbourhood would mean more gentrification and rising rents. With vinyls and CDs lined up neatly at the doorway, and second hand record players, some with ‘reserved’ slips written on a card and stuck to them, Koppitsch’s shop somehow resembles the pushback to a modern technology giant like Google. “It (having Google in the Umspannwerk) would have pushed up commercial and private rents,” says Koppitsch from behind the counter. “There is an upper limit on private rents, there are regulations,” he explains. … [Read more...] about How a grassroots group in Berlin Kreuzberg took on Google
While living costs continue to climb higher in the German capital, there are still a slew of shared working spaces which offer affordable monthly spots - for as little as 50 euros a month for unlimited access in central areas. Berlin boasts over 100 co-working spaces, most which have sprung up within the last decade, and many within the last year. Often set up in former factories, industrial hubs and even an old parish house, these spaces are like large living rooms which encourage productivity with the aid of fast WiFi, lively networking events and ubiquitous coffee. We look at some of the coolest, most creative and cheapest spots to plant your laptop in Berlin, whether you’re seeking out space for your whole company, or are a freelancer looking for a more inspiring atmosphere than your flat. 1) The Factory Built into a former factory that used to divide east and west Berlin, the Factory is now one of Berlin’s hippest start-up spots. You’ll even … [Read more...] about What are Berlin’s most affordable co-working spaces?
This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more Membership Exclusives here. “If there is one place in the world that could kick this colossus in the nuts,” says Larry Pageblank, “it is Kreuzberg and Berlin.” The colossus is Google. And “Larry Pageblank” is the playful pseudonym - Larry Page is a co-founder of Google - of a man who is taking a stand against the American tech giant and what he sees as its malign influence on the world. The name of Pageblank’s network, “Fuck off Google”, is also a message - a fairly unsubtle one at that. “Fuck off Google” is just the most colourfully named group of several that want to stop one of the largest companies in the world from expanding into Kreuzberg. Key allies include Shitstorm, an “anarchical newspaper” handed out at anti-Google meetings, and Bizim Kiez, a group battling to stop gentrification in Kreuzberg. The groups’ names alone … [Read more...] about Google is coming to Berlin Kreuzberg and locals are far from happy. Here’s why
Updated 10:52 am, Sunday, May 20, 2018 Photo: Paul Zinken, AP Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 A banner reading 'Occupied' is fixed in front of a house in Berlin, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Police say activists protesting rising rents and the gentrification of neighborhoods in the German capital have occupied nine vacant buildings. The dpa news agency reported Sunday the buildings included apartments in several Berlin neighborhoods including the trendy Kreuzberg, Neukoelln and Friedrichshain. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP) less A banner reading 'Occupied' is fixed in front of a house in Berlin, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Police say activists protesting rising rents and the gentrification of neighborhoods in the German capital have occupied ... more Photo: Paul Zinken, AP Activists occupy 9 vacant Berlin buildings in rent protest … [Read more...] about Activists occupy 9 vacant Berlin buildings in rent protest