The Rockhaus in Lichtenberg has apparently been saved. Cultural Senator Lederer negotiated with the owner. However, the rents are going up.
The rehearsals in the Rockhaus can continue, it will only be a little more expensive Photo: imago
Actually, everything was already over. The musicians who have their rehearsal rooms in the so-called Rockhaus in Lichtenberg received their notices in March. The premises in the former GDR office building had already been re-advertised for rent. The majority of the approximately 1,000 musicians who share 180 rehearsal rooms were threatened with having to put their instruments in the corner for the time being. There are hardly any rehearsal rooms left in Berlin, especially not affordable ones. They would have had to leave at the end of May, and they would hardly have been able to find alternative facilities so quickly.
Now, unless something unexpected comes up, they will be allowed to continue after all: Culture Senator Klaus Lederer (Left Party) was aware of the musicians’ precarious situation and entered into negotiations with the owner of the Rockhaus, the Scharfstein Group. The result, which has now become known: The Rockhaus stays.
Nothing will change much for the users of the rehearsal rooms. Except that they will have to pay more rent: Around 10 euros per square meter they currently pay, about 15 euros in the future. "Sure, the conditions are a bit worse now," says Julian Vauzet from the band Snøffeltøffs, which rehearses in the Rockhaus, "but before, they were downright luxurious." It could have been even more expensive: The 15 euros per square meter only comes about because the state of Berlin contributes 2.50 euros per square meter.
The contract with the Scharfstein Group is to run for the next 20 years. The negotiated price per square meter will apply until the end of 2020, after which there will be a graduated rent. Not everyone is happy about this, says Julian Vauzet. He fears that people will be exposed to permanent rent increases. "But this is office space," he says. "If at some point it becomes too expensive, you can quit without a problem."
The current operator of the Rockhaus, Dirk Kummele, will no longer play a role in the future. After umpteen legal disputes with the Scharfstein Group, he terminated his lease. The new operator will now be the "Gesellschaft fur Stadtentwicklung gemeinnutzige GmbH" on behalf of the state of Berlin. Exactly what responsibilities this will have is still unclear, according to Vauzet. The aim is a kind of self-administration by the users.