UTRECHT – What should the municipality of Utrecht do with the vacant building of the old library and Broese on the Oudegracht? Well, don’t sell it, but turn the monument into a building filled with shops, businesses and social institutions. This is what the municipality wants, according to the plans presented today.
The prominent building in the heart of the city has been owned by the municipality since 1972. Before that, it was used by the V&D department store, among others. The Broese Library and Bookstore had been located here for years. They have now both moved to the old post office in De Neude. The new library opened there in May of last year.
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Since then, the Oudegracht building has been empty and is used for temporary exhibitions. During a debate last year, the PVV offered to sell it, but the municipality has already indicated that it wants to develop it themselves. Now there is a 26 page report explaining why the municipality is thinking this and how it wants to achieve it.
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‘Do not sell’
According to the municipal executive owes the municipality especially not to sell the building. It would be “one of the most important buildings in Utrecht with a rich history and enormous potential”.
One of the most important buildings in Utrecht with a rich history and enormous potential. “
By keeping it, the municipality can, according to the council, influence what is (and is not) in terms of downtown businesses and organizations. It is also pointed out that the building costs not only money, but also returns: the municipality wants to rent part of the 7,500 square meters of floor space.
The municipality also has a vision for the interpretation of the building. On the ground floor of the building there should be stores or businesses, such as “a commercial concept store with sustainable products from manufacturers in Utrecht, among others”.
On the upper floors, social organizations and start-ups can set up and there will be “a green roof terrace with a breathtaking view of the city”.
The municipality’s plans will cost money, as the building has yet to be made to stand the test of time.
The municipality will now have a preliminary renovation project. Then an estimate is made of how much it would cost and how it should be paid. This proposal must be completed by 2022. Then it is also necessary to know which parts the municipality would like to have in the building and the plan must be submitted to the city council.