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“StadtQuartier Schloßstraße”: After 5 years of standing vacant, the former Kaufhof complex in Mülheim an der Ruhr is set to be redeveloped.

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06/30/2015 | “StadtQuartier Schloßstraße”: After 5 years of standing vacant, the former Kaufhof complex in Mülheim an der Ruhr is set to be redeveloped.

Since the start of 2015, in cooperation with the real estate service provider Mülheimer Wohnungsbau eG (MWB), the project company StadtQuartier Schloßstraße GmbH has developed a plan to convert the Kaufhof complex that has been standing vacant for the last five years.



After the bid for the location of the Sparkassenakademie was awarded to the City of Dortmund in December 2014, two candidates from the City of Mülheim who had also qualified for the final round – having proposed a conversion of the former Kaufhof property and a new building on the site of the city’s adult education center – joined together to draw up an urban development plan that would improve the area around the former Kaufhof department store.

Within the scope of the city-wide strategy project “Ruhrbania,” the appeal of the downtown area directly by the water was greatly enhanced through an urban development competition in 2003/2004 and through various measures that had already been implemented. These include:

  • The Ruhr promenade for strolling along the water
  • The city harbor that also serves as a pleasant place to spend time
  • The renovation of the city hall
  • The construction of the RuhrQuartier on part of the development site

At this stage, it proved impossible to implement the plan to dovetail and link the downtown with the Ruhr promenade properly because no suitable economic proposal and land use concept could be found for the former Kaufhof site. The architectural agency AIP took on this challenge and, in cooperation with MWB, drafted an economically viable solution that could be implemented in an urban setting, with the added objective of contributing to the enhancement and revival of downtown Mülheim an der Ruhr.

The existing building complex has approx. 25,000 m2 of floor space and has stood empty for over five years. The plan involves using the available site to accommodate a 3- or 4-star hotel with 140 rooms in addition to retailers that service the neighborhood, attractive apartments with a view of the city harbor, and a mixture of office space and assisted living facilities designed for the elderly. This would facilitate the desired link between the downtown and the Ruhr promenade with urban amenities and functioning connecting walkways.

A newly developed arcade will attractively connect the pedestrian zones of Schloßstraße, Friedrich-Ebert-Straße and the city harbor. Existing residential and recreational activities in the area will be supplemented by additional food-service outlets, further boosting the appeal of the downtown quarter.

The attractive new buildings will give the area around the city hall, city harbor, residential buildings, and Ruhr promenade strong urban appeal, ideally connecting the urban atmosphere with recreation and relaxation amenities in the heart of Mülheim. The variety of possible uses for the area, along with the balanced social structure in the direct vicinity of the quarter, will lead to long-term synergy effects that benefit the existing uses and also cater for the public’s need for sufficient local facilities.

According to the construction plan, the floors above the first floor of the former Kaufhof will be removed completely and replaced by new five-story constructions arranged around an atrium. The existing parking structure will remain largely the same, except that the access ramps will be repositioned. The upper two levels of the parking garage will be converted into a fitness center. By using the basement level as an underground car park and by keeping the parking garage, the facility will provide approx. 200 parking spaces.



The entire Kaufhof complex will be broken down architecturally into individual buildings with an upscale facade design. All of the facades that face the main urban areas will feature a combination of large glazed surfaces, attractive window systems and natural stone finishing.

The facades facing the atrium will have light plastered surfaces that are divided and enhanced by attractive window and balcony features. Premium greenery, water features, and quiet areas will serve as design elements in the inner courtyards. The newly developed open-air arcade between Friedrich-Ebert-Straße and the city harbor will be designated as a pedestrian zone; besides greenery suited to an urban setting, this area will feature upscale outdoor dining spaces.

“We’re very pleased to be a part of this forward-looking project for Mülheim and to be able to contribute our expertise,” says Jürgen Steinmetz, Chairman of Mülheimer Wohnungsbau eG (MWB), which will be shouldering one-third of the project. “We hope that – together as project developers – we’ll succeed in promoting the long-term utilization of the Kaufhof complex.”

“After 18 months of thoroughly analyzing the Kaufhof complex, we are now on the final stretch to the repair and attractive repurposing of this downtown area,” explains Gerd Rainer Scholze, AIP associate and investor.



“Architecturally and in terms of urban development, the ‘StadtQuartier Schloßstraße’ serves as an attractive site for the planned mixed-use complex, consisting of a hotel, retail stores, food-service outlets, recreational/sporting activities, housing, and services,” says Mayor Dagmar Mühlenfeld, commenting on the design. “It would also succeed in connecting the newly developed Ruhrbania quarter by the city harbor with the city center – something we’ve always envisioned. The entire city is looking forward to seeing the project come to life and wishes the investors the best of luck as they continue to execute the plans.”

In the coming weeks and months, the investors – in cooperation with Mülheim & Business GmbH – will step up their marketing discussions with the planned users of the facility, while also approaching further prospects for the rental spaces that are still available. Investors and business development representatives also plan to promote the “StadtQuartier Schloßstraße” and display a model of it at the international real estate trade fair EXPO REAL, being held in Munich from October 5 to 7 of this year. The repurposing of former department stores in downtown locations is currently a major topic for several cities.


Plans by AIP Düsseldorf

Mülheimer Wohnungsbau eG

Conversion Study: Kaufhof, Mülheim an der Ruhr
StadtQuartier Schloßstraße GmbH:
Retail – Catering – Hotels – Housing – Offices


Last updated: June 12, 2015