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Copyright: Jan-Marius Komorek / Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Creatives are conquering Hamburg’s best-known shopping street – at least temporarily. By the end of the year, Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft will take over the former Karstadt Sport building and open it up for creative interim uses. For six months, numerous cultural institutions and creative professionals will move in and temporarily transform the vacant, approximately 8,000 square meters spread over six floors into studios, exhibition spaces, co-working spaces and production locations. The extensive project is made possible by the “Frei_Fläche” program of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft and the Fund for Creative Temporary Use, which the Senate of Hamburg approved in June 2021 and endowed with nine million euros. Since the programme was launched in July 2021, around 19,466 square metres have been let to creative professionals from Hamburg. Out of more than 175 ideas submitted for interim use, 53 concepts matched the space offered by owners and funding applications were successfully completed.

“Together with our Restart Fund,” says Hamburg’s Finance Senator Dr. Andreas Dressel, “which we have just increased by another 500,000 euros, we are using the Frei_Fläche program to provide targeted support for the city centre and district centers as they restart after Corona. Such creative economic uses as here now at the Mönckebergstraße and also already at numerous other places in Hamburg, provide for a revival of the quarters. And there are also sufficient funds available for many more creative ideas all over the city. So my call: take advantage of the opportunities offered by our Frei_Fläche program!”

Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft (link in German) is taking over the former department store from R+V Lebensversicherung AG until December 31, 2022. In return, it will pay all ongoing ancillary costs; no rent will be paid. Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft will make the space available to creative professionals for 1.50 euros per square meter. The building is rented out in quarter, half or full floors. Two floors (ground floor and 2nd floor) are occupied by changing projects such as exhibitions or festivals. Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, states: “There is hardly a more exposed location in Hamburg’s city center than the former Karstadt Sport building. The fact that visitors to the city center can now experience art, culture and creative industries from Hamburg there instead of vacant space is a remarkable success of the Frei_Fläche program.”

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