Money triumphs over Rotterdam social capital again...
But be assured: this is not the last word!
February 17, 2006 the Vereniging Poortgebouw was informed of the Rotterdam
Court of Justice's ruling in favour of project developer De Groene Groep's
"urgent own need for renovation" and exploitation of our house. The verdict
terminates the living group's 22 year rent contract per the 1st of July
forcing 30 people including children on the street with no alternative
housing. The Vereniging Poortgebouw will now take this case against the
owner to the higher court in Den Haag in appeal.
Since October 2004, the Vereniging Poortgebouw (VPG) has been in a legal
procedure with De Groene Groep Monumenten B.V. (GG). We rejected the cancelling
of the rent contract and an eviction to make place the owner's redevelopment
plans for expensive office space. A promising first sitting took place
in court on August 29, 2005 after which the expected request for additional
information from each party was extended with each passing month. The
draws a bewildering and prejudiced line through our arguments in support
of the GGs wishes to make profit out of the Poortgebouw. In fact,
we in are being punished for the GGs negligence of their contractual
Monument is Groene Groeps Fault
In summary, the judge A.J.L.M. van der Wildt accepted the GGs claim
that the only manner to finance the monumental Poortgebouws renovation
is through re-development into luxus office space a
much unneeded resource in a city full of empty offices. Clearly dismissed
in the verdict is the evidence that the dire appearance of the facade
is the result of the GGs and the former owner Woningbedrijf
Rotterdams (WBR) negligence of their contractual responsibility
to maintain the outside of the building. Our arguments against the necessity
and urgency of the GGs development plans, however
supported in court by professional statements and reports, were misinterpreted
or simply not taken into consideration.
1 30 Renters on the Street!
The verdict also proclaimed that the Groene Groep has no further obligation
to provide alternative housing for our 30-person group. In the summer
of 2001, the WBR sold our house without informing us nor offering us the
possibility to organise the mere ±450, 000 euro single-family home price.
In the stress-filled months thereafter, there was one sole offer from
the WBR for each individual to investigate independently 2 offers
for alternative housing. At that time and still today the
VPG rejected this attempt to separate a well established the living group
into individuals and requested suitable offers for collective re-housing.
is how Rotterdam deals with people who simply want to live differently
than alone in a small apartment. Will Rotterdam allow it's last cultural
breeding ground to be sacrificed for more lethargic office space?
full 9-page verdict transcript can be found on HERE
The VPG and advisors are
in agreement that there is no choice but to challenge this verdict in
appeals court. The Poortgebouw must not be reduced to a hollow monument
to Rotterdams old glory abused only to generate rent-profit
for the GG. Relentlessly, we will also further develop our alternative
renovation plan to prove that the Poortgebouw can be saved in a human
and benificial way. Together with architect office Tussen
Ruimte, we will officially present a sustained vision of the Poortgebouw
as an engine within the Kop van Zuid and Rotterdam cultural climate.
the Poortgebouw a monument for the people!
The cost of this negative verdict and the decision to take the fight for
the Poortgebouw to the (more expensive!) appeals court must be funded
by our living collective. The Vereniging Poortgebouw is a non-profit organisation
with no structural funding outside the rent of the individual members
of the group. We greatly appreciate any donations towards these costs
and the expenses related to developing our alternative plan.
Bank/Account Number: POSTBANK 1059173
Remark/For the support of: POORTGEBOUW SUPPOORT
NL 70 PSTB 0001 0591 73