BONN. The legendary Press Club in Bonn’s government quarter is about to undergo radical change: Deutsche Post wants to close its canteen, which is also open to outside guests. It is unclear what will become of the heritage-listed building.
Deutsche Post DHL will close its canteen in the Press Club, which is also open to outside guests, at the end of the month. With the closure of Heinrich-Brüning-Straße 20, the government quarter will lose another institution steeped in tradition. “We have leased the Press Club up to now but for business reasons have decided not to renew the lease,” Deutsche Post spokesperson Hannah Braselmann confirmed, responding to relevant GA information.
The building was constructed in 1909 as part of the Gronau villa district. After the Bundesverlag was headquartered here during the time Bonn was the capital, the German Press Club moved in in 1977 and used the building as a meeting place for local and foreign journalists, federal politicians, diplomats and business representatives.
Surprise over timing
When the government relocated, the federal government handed the property over to the city of Bonn. The building was to continue to serve as a meeting place for media representatives. However, after two attempts at running it failed, the city sold the heritage building to real estate entrepreneur Marc Asbeck and put the proceeds into the reserve fund for the World Conference Center (WCCB). In 2010, Asbeck was able to sign up Deutsche Post, which also uses other buildings in the neighbourhood, as a tenant.
The timing has been met with astonishment among staff. The Post Tower Casino is often overcrowded during busy periods. Around 2200 staff work in the office high-rise. Braselmann offers reassurance: “We will replace what is on offer for our employees by increasing the selection in the existing company catering facilities.” The culinary offerings on the Deutsche Post campus have become increasingly varied in recent years. The Post Tower Casino, the World Café Mississippi, the Bistro Nil as well as cafes in Johanniter Straße and in the Pakethaus on the Deutsche Post campus offer a variety of menus. Another lunchtime offer will also be available to staff in the Post Tower lounge from next week: an Asia Bistro is to move in there.
Subsequent use still unclear
What, if anything, the Press Club villa, with its 1300 square metres of office space, could now be used for remains unclear. The owner, Asbeck, has not answered a query from the General-Anzeiger.
Asbeck is planning three spectacular glazed office high-rises in the immediate vicinity of the government quarter. Project Greengate, with floor space of over 14,000 square metres, is to be built on the site of the former Lower Saxony federal state office on Kurt-Schumacher-Straße. According to Asbeck’s homepage, it should be ready for occupancy in 2020. Deutsche Post’s own kindergarten was demolished for this purpose. However, the federal state office building is still standing and there is no sign of any construction work as yet.
Originally, Deutsche Post, as tenant, wanted to move around 1000 of its staff here from various buildings scattered throughout the city. However, there is currently no future tenant named on Asbeck’s homepage. Deutsche Post said it would “not make a statement at present.”
(Original text: Martin Wein. Translation: kc)