Wednesday, November 13, 2019
By Volker Petersen
The Berlin-Brandenburg region is looking forward to thousands of new jobs thanks to the new Tesla factory. But there is an anxious question mixed with the enthusiasm: Are the rents of the capital even faster now?
In Berlin and Brandenburg, the joy of the news is great: Tesla is building a new factory in the capital's surrounding area, which could create up to 7,000 new, well-paid jobs. This brings money to the region, which brings industry back to Greater Berlin. But even good news sometimes has dark sides. An influx of thousands of new, well-off people can also cause problems – for those who already live there. Tesla Motors (USD) 351.52 "This is an industrial settlement, which will increase the workforce and that will drive more demand for housing," says the managing director of the Berlin-based tenant association Reiner Wildn-tv.de. Thus, the announcement touches on an issue that has priority for many people in the capital: the rents. They have been rising for years, making it difficult for average earners to find affordable housing. Wild assumes that many of the new employees want to live in Berlin. For a long time, people in the city have complained about the repression from their traditional neighborhoods, the Kiezen. Rising rents in popular neighborhoods such as Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain mean that many can no longer afford the area. Gentrification is also called this process. Mieterbund managing director Wild is confident, however, that the Tesla immigration will not aggravate the problem, provided one condition is met: "We must use the instruments that already exist," he says. The instruments are there Tesla boss Elon Musk announced the news at an awards ceremony. (Photo: picture alliance / dpa) He means on the one hand, the "environmental protection" of the neighborhood, on the other hand, but also the Mietendeckel. He plans to freeze Berlin rents for five years. Increases should only be possible under certain conditions. The "Milieuschutz" includes a permit requirement for the conversion of rented flats into condominiums as well as structural changes and grants the state of Berlin a right of first refusal on flats. Since 1 January 2019, rents for modernization projects have also risen by a maximum of three euros per square meter. All this is to prevent tenants from being able to afford their dwelling and gentrifying an area. "I only worry if these instruments are not used," says Wild. After all, the controversial Mietendeckel has not yet been decided by the Berlin House of Representatives. There are 58 protected areas in the capital – but they do not cover many areas. However, the new cap on rent increases following modernization has already spoiled the appetite for structural upgrades for many investors, says Wild. The Model 3 could run in the new "Gigafabrik" off the line. (Photo: REUTERS) Experiences from other cities show that an influx of thousands of new employees can actually put pressure on the rental market. In Frankfurt, for example, thanks to the Brexit, a number of bank employees from London could pour into the city. According to a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 14 percent more money was invested in real estate there last year than in the same period last year. Altogether it was eight billion euros. The Hesse-based Landesbank Helaba expects the number of bank employees in Frankfurt to rise by at least 8,000 in the medium term. London bankers' move in London over Brexit will help "see home prices and rents continue to rise at least at similar rates," she said last year. Protests Against Amazon and Google In New York, comparable news even led to one Such a wave of protests that a company blew its plans for a new headquarters again. Amazon had chosen the city after a long search last November for a new headquarters. The real estate prices around the planned location in the district of Queens shot up with the prospect of the expected 25,000 Amazon employees. Because of this, and also because the city wanted to accommodate the group with generous tax breaks, there was widespread protest. It was finally so fierce that Amazon abruptly dropped its plans. Berlin also has such a story. It's about the Google campus in Kreuzberg. The search engine company Alphabet wanted to build a new building on a fallow land, but met with fierce resistance of the traditionally well-organized left scene of the district. The criticism also here: The settlement of the company would have made the environment more expensive. Alphabet eventually abandoned the site last year and instead chose a property in the more business-friendly district of Mitte. That similar protests could occur in the case of Tesla is currently unlikely. Too great is the joy about the jobs and the signal effect for the region. And when milieus protection and Mietendeckel work, probably no one has to worry. If.