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Urban revitalization of Alt-Sachsenhausen

Reason for planning
The quarter, which in the 1960s and ‘70s was famous for its traditional Apfelwein taverns and characterized by a well-functioning residential and commercial mix, developed into a nightlife district with an oversupply of bars and clubs. This proved detrimental especially for residential and retail facilities and, on account of subsiding demand in this segment of the hospitality industry, resulted in vacancies and increasing decay in the building fabric from the late 1980s onwards, sparking the typical self-reinforcing cycle of vacancies, inhibition to invest in future usages, structural decay and negative image.
In an effort to counteract the above trend, the City of Frankfurt decided to establish the Alt-Sachsenhausen masterplan zone including a set of defined objectives and strategies. The City Council passed the resolution on January 26, 1995.

Planning objectives
With the resolution to adopt the masterplan for Alt-Sachsenhausen the guidelines for the development of the district were fixed and a local urban revitalization process initialized. The masterplan illustrates the shortcomings of the existing building stock and points out the potential of future development. Along with preserving the typical features of the building fabric, the objectives of the revitalization measures are set to revive the quarter by enabling and promoting a new kind of mixed-usage. The main focus here is on strengthening residential qualities and transforming the monostructured hospitality such that it can be reconciled with the needs of the local residents. Rather than promoting just one aspect of the hospitality industry in the zone, the City plans to introduce new resident-friendly uses that will revitalize the area during the day too.
The intention is that new cultural facilities and offerings encouraging and complementing the urban development measures will provide fresh incentives in the quarter and place additional emphasis on function.

Development district
The Alt-Sachsenhausen masterplan zone is bounded by the following streets: Sachsenhäuserstraße / Deutschherrnufer in the north, Schulstraße via Walter-Kolb-Straße in the west, Schifferstraße in the south and Dreieichstraße in the east.

Project progress
A modernization consultancy office was set up in the zone in 1996. Here property owners can discuss details of planned modernization and renewal measures in relation to their property with an architect commissioned by the City.
In 2000 a color scheme for Alt-Sachsenhausen proposing a specific color design for each building façade in the zone was presented to the public.
In 2001, the resolution to establish a grant scheme aimed at providing further investment incentives for the realization of the objectives contained in the urban development masterplan and the color scheme was adopted.
Financial support is granted to property owners for the following measures: refurbishment and modernization, conversion, extension or building new rented apartments along with converting existing bars and restaurants into apartments or non-intrusive commercial businesses. In addition to a 20 % allowance of the eligible costs of these measures, a second subsidy payment is granted for having the façade painted in line with the recommendations set out in the color scheme.
In early 2003 the use of such funds from the modernization grant scheme was extended to measures in the public space, enabling new complementary designs in the public space in addition to having the building fabric improved.
The municipal initiatives and activities described above have slowly but surely succeeded in bringing about a positive change in the quarter. Considerable improvements in the conditions of the building fabric are very obvious now. The modernization consultancy office and the grant scheme were met with great approval.
Along with improving the building fabric, recent years witnessed an increase in those projects capitalizing on bringing about structural and functional change in the quarter. Accordingly, measures focused on projects offering different, complementary offers that appeal to a wide audience, such as converting and opening the Kuhhirtenturm and providing daily access to the neo-Gothic Dreikönigskirche and the Gothic Deutschordenskirche with a Baroque portal.

Information on the project published by the City Planning Department

Project management

Mr. Karsten Krüger

Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 33925
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 30761