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Sparkasse Südholstein purchases “Am Großflecken” property in Neumünster – Karstadt withdraws closure plans

The Sparkasse Südholstein savings bank has announced today that it has purchased the “Am Großflecken” property in the centre of Neumünster effective 1 July 2016. Confidentiality about the purchase price was agreed. The Karstadt department store, which was originally supposed to close at the end of June 2016, currently occupies this property. Following constructive discussions with both the old and new property owners, Karstadt decided to continue operating the store in the medium term.

Andreas Fohrmann, Chairman of the Executive Board at the Sparkasse Südholstein savings bank, explains: “The future of one of the most prominent areas of urban development in Neumünster has been safeguarded today. We will redevelop the entire site and boost economic strength in the region at the same time.”

The savings bank will develop a new usage concept for the entire building. The new concept will live up to the property’s special location – with connections to the park and the waterfront on the one hand and connections to the city centre’s shopping area on the other. Plans to replace the current Karstadt store with a new building complex, which will also be used by the savings bank, have been made. There will be retail space and attractive apartments in this building complex.

With the purchase of this property, the Sparkasse Südholstein savings bank is making a long-term and strategic investment. Chairman of the Executive Board Andreas Fohrmann explains: “We are making good progress with the reorientation of our branch. This also includes our own property strategy. We are very pleased that we were able to convince Karstadt to stay in Neumünster with our ‘Am Großflecken’ investment.”

Dr Stephan Fanderl, CEO of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH said: “We are delighted that the situation in Neumünster has changed to enable us to continue to operate the store with a new owner structure. We will immediately roll out our successfully progressing restructuring programme called ‘Fokus’ at this location as well. Karstadt is the department store chain that is currently developing the quickest. I am sure that our employees will be relieved to hear that their store will stay and that they are looking forward to working with these new processes immediately. In the past 2014/2015 financial year, Karstadt generated money from the point-of-sale for the first time in years and improved store results by more than 60% in total. We are working hard on turning every single store around.”

Dr Olaf Tauras, Lord Mayor of Neumünster, also praised this development: “Thanks to the commitment of this savings bank, decisions on the development of the Karstadt site will be made here in the region. We are very grateful to the two companies – for the investment of the savings bank and Karstadt’s decision to stay. This is a great and important day for Neumünster because this key area in the city centre will now be secured, revived and positively developed in the long term. As a result, this supports the city’s strategy to further develop the entire city centre from the station to the town hall as a central location for services, retail, food and drink and culture not just selectively but overall.”