De Koepel will consider follow-up actions now that the municipal executive is not going along with their proposal to lower parking rates in the Emmer center. That is what chairman Jos Schomaker says. “Think of speaking in the city council and approaching the various council factions.” Because they don’t accept being satisfied with a ‘no’ to their proposal. “The last word has not yet been said on this.”

    De Koepel, the spokesperson for all entrepreneurs towards politics, recently wrote to the municipality with the request to reduce the rates of municipal parking garages and sites by almost half. Currently parking costs 1.80 per 55 minutes and the daily rate is 10.30. De Koepel advocates a reduction of one euro per hour, including the first hour free. The maximum daily rate should be reduced to 5 euros.

    According to Schomaker, this temporary reduction is no more than reasonable. The center has been a construction site for years, there is a lot of vacancy and the entrepreneurs are still feeling the consequences of the corona measures. A concession would therefore be welcome. The college has said it will not go along with that.

    The parking operation of the municipality of Emmen has been under pressure for years and has already been adjusted during the last budget. In addition, the proposed reduction would lead to a loss of an additional EUR 2 million. For the rest, there is already a market-based rate, says the municipality. De Koepel strongly disagrees with the latter.

    “We have had a long period of building,” he points to, among other things, the refurbishment of the Market Square and the Old Center and the construction of the Raadhuisplein. “We will not get rid of that in the coming years. Peter van Dijk will tackle the V&D building and the Paviljoen building on Mondriaanplein (possibly a new location for the library) will follow.

    The disadvantage is therefore that the accessibility and attractiveness of the center for shoppers was less for a period, says Schomaker. And that was felt. Especially during the period of corona. “Many have not yet recovered from the financial consequences. Think, for example, of an accumulated tax debt, but also increased rents, wages and energy costs.” Add to that the vacancy rate and the fact that free parking is available in surrounding neighborhood and village centers, says Schomaker.

    Not that there should suddenly be parking meters in Klazienaveen or in the Rietlanden district, for example. “No, it must be a solution specifically aimed at the Emmer center.”

    Entrepreneurs fear the same previous consequences that the renovation of the old V&D building and the possible move of the library to Mondriaanplein will entail. “Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with these developments. They are plans for locations with a lot of vacancy that will soon be given a new purpose. But it does entail a form of inconvenience.”

    That is why Schomaker is surprised that the municipality speaks of market rates. “Given the current and future developments, in our opinion you do not justify the fact that you compare the rates with comparable shopping cities where there is not a lot of construction.”

    The V&D building (good for 12,000 square meters) will be converted into a residential shopping complex and the facades and the adjacent Butterfly Passage will have the same appearance as the retail buildings in the Old Center. Developer Peter van Dijk has indicated that he is not worried about filling the retail spaces.

    Research is also being done into the move of Facet (the library) to the adjacent and largely vacant Paviljoen building. If that plan goes ahead, it will also mean that a considerable part of the shopping center will be filled in again.