Platform matches vacant retail spaces with creative tenants

Finding suitable spaces is often a real challenge for creative professionals. This is especially true for attractive locations in the city center, often occupied by retail hence unaffordable for creatives. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased the vacancy of urban retail spaces – including Hamburg.

Finding suitable spaces is often a real challenge for creative professionals. This is especially true for attractive locations in the city center, often occupied by retail hence unaffordable for creatives. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased the vacancy of urban retail spaces – including Hamburg.

To counteract these problems, the Hamburg Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture and Media, together with the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft and the Landesbetrieb Immobilienmanagement und Grundvermögen (LIG), have developed the “Free Space: Space for Creative Interim Use” funding program. In order to match creative professionals with landlords, Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft has launched a platform, where landlords can create profiles of their vacant premises and creatives can submit their concepts.

The goal is to enable cultural and creative interim uses of vacant retail spaces at very favorable conditions, thereby minimizing vacancy costs – from art exhibitions to pop-up stores. The program ensures that creatives only pay a monthly contribution of 1.50 euros per square meter for the space they use, regardless of location. All operating and ancillary costs are covered by the program, including deposits. Landlords seeking to avoid vacancies, prevent vandalism, and revitalize their property’s neighborhoods also benefit from the funding.

 

Why is it interesting?

  • While landlords have to deal with economically painful vacancies, free and experimental space for creatives is a rare commodity. The funding program combats two problems at once.
  • The platform not only makes vacancies visible, but also good ideas.
  • Creative professionals decide how long and for what purpose they rent a space.
  • The effort for landlords is low, since the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft initiate, implement and supervise the interim uses.

 

Potential

  • The platform functions like a marketplace where creative professionals and landlords have to get in touch with each other. To organize interim uses strategically, the city could act more as a curator and bring parties together according to predefined goals for urban development.

 

Photo: © Jan-Marius Komorek, Source: Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

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