Shopping or social housing at Checkpoint Charlie? The fight for the space around Berlin’s most well-known former border crossing is entering yet another round.
Thirty years after the fall of the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie is caught between commerce and social balance: a few days ago, the council sent those notorious border police re-enactors off the site. Not necessarily for ripping off tourists directly — although that may have played a role in it, too. But it’s business sense that’s winning out. Not right at the former border, but on the empty lot next door.
Berlin’s ruling Social Democratic Party seems to be procrastinating in its approval for a development plan drafted by the senate office for social housing and city planning. Which might have something to do with the fact that this office is run by the Left party, the Social Democrats’ partner in the current coalition, but also one of their biggest competitors. If the coalition can’t reach an agreement by February, it’s likely an investor will be awarded the licence to create a district with hotels and shopping malls.
Translated by Aida Baghernejad