Question 1: Depopulation Meerhoven Shopping Center
According to a recent article in the Eindhoven Dagblad, no fewer than four of the eleven shops in the Meerhoven Shopping Center (Terminal M) will be closing their doors in the foreseeable future. Residents are very concerned about this development. See our letter of February 22, 2022. Do you share our concern? And what role do you see for the municipality, and for your political group in particular?
|We certainly share your concern. Unfortunately, this is a trend that we see everywhere in Eindhoven and that has been reinforced by the Corona pandemic. GroenLinks thinks that the municipality should think more about making shopping centres more interesting by mixing functions. This means that a combination should be sought between shops, experience places, housing, restaurants and meeting places with an attractive green public space. If it really becomes a place of experience and life, we can give it a future together. As a municipality, we must not only pay attention to developments in the city centre, but also to shopping centres in the neighbourhoods.
|We share this concern very much. We are therefore taking the following measures:
|We certainly share that concern. The municipality can set up an acquisition team to attract more shops to the shopping centre. Furthermore, it is a shopping centre that will be invested in by the municipality. Efforts will have to be made to make the shopping centre attractive to customers again by organising fun events/braderies, for example, so that there is more traffic to the shopping centre. But this is also a role for residents and shopkeepers together with the municipality.
|Unfortunately, we see shops disappearing from several neighbourhood centres. As a municipality, we must carry out a broad investigation into what is needed to combat vacancy. Furthermore, the neighbourhood must also be involved in what is needed to keep the shopping centre lively.
|The Ouderen Appel – Hart voor Eindhoven sees some similarities between the Terminal M shopping centre and the Woensel shopping centre, where an increasing vacancy rate is also currently being reported. At the Woensel Shopping Centre, initiatives such as free parking and a new neighbourhood library are being developed to counteract the adverse impact on the quality of life in Woensel-Noord. A first remark is that the closure concerns four (4) of the seven (7) shops, as there are three (3) large supermarkets. Given the limited size and especially a totally different location of Terminal M, other measures are necessary there. One of the main bottlenecks is the accessibility, especially for supplies. In fact, supplies can only be delivered along one road, the Zandstrand, a road with more than 10 speed bumps with cobblestones and a 90˚ bend at the bus lane in the narrowest part of the road. Furthermore, the living environment at Terminal M is abominable. Even when there is little wind, one is blown away between the buildings. It is a general complaint also from the residents of the buildings in the centre. Furthermore, there are no facilities to stay there besides shopping.
|This has been discussed in the council and the alderman has since been in touch. There are various new possibilities for tenants who are being discussed. Ultimately, 50PLUS believes that the centre must remain lively with a varied range of entrepreneurs. So we share the concern.
|ChristenUnie Eindhoven will not respond to the questions that you have put forward, for the fundamental reason that in this day and age – prior to the elections – you can seduce politicians into making any statement if that will bring in votes in his/her eyes. We are in the council on the oath that we have been elected there without ‘charge or consultation’ and committing ourselves in advance to positions of interest groups feels to us contrary to that principle.
|The vacancy problem is unfortunately of a general nature. Many shopping centres are struggling with this problem. The Piratenpartij will make a strong case, both in a coalition agreement and in the opposition, for a city-wide vacancy policy. We are thinking of multifunctional filling-in of shopping centres with various (social and cultural) community facilities. On our website you can find our thoughts on Shopping Centre Woensel XL. Look here https://eindhoven.piratenpartij.nl/2022/02/06/winkelcentrum-woensel-het-nieuwe-kloppend-hart-van-eindhoven-noord/
We share this concern. For the quality of life and solidarity in a neighbourhood, it is important that residents can meet each other at facilities in the area. In addition, the absence of facilities within walking or cycling distance results in more car journeys to other locations, whereas we actually want to reduce dependence on the car. So we think it is highly desirable that the municipality should intervene here. We would like to see vacant premises not only filled by shopkeepers, but also with space for other entrepreneurs and initiatives, such as culture makers.
|FVD believes it is important that the vacancy rate in the Meerhoven shopping centre is reduced as much as possible. We know that the high rents are one of the main culprits. To reduce these high rents as much as possible, we want to abolish municipal taxes such as property tax (ozb).
|From the perspective of a healthy and liveable city, the Party for the Animals wants to support the local economy. High rents make it difficult for local and small-scale businesses. The risk is that only large international companies will settle there. American fast-food chains, for example. In order to keep Eindhoven liveable, the Party for the Animals is looking for ways to ban new establishments of fast-food chains and is entering into consultations about this with the state. It is also important that the municipality enters into discussions with all parties and includes the concerns of residents and shopkeepers in order to reach a solution that is acceptable to all parties.
|Yes, we share those concerns. And it’s not just in Meerhoven. We have someone in our midst who is active in the retail sector himself, who has his feet in the mud, so to speak, and who tells us that there is a lot of vacancy everywhere, including in the town centre and that it is not so easy to come up with solutions because things will not and cannot be the way they were. So we will have to find out how and what to do.
To begin with, you are right that the municipality and the residents’ association must sit down together with the landlord/property manager and the businessmen. To exchange what exactly is going on. And then to discuss scenarios together. Because it actually plays out everywhere, proven solutions can be used elsewhere. Insofar as they already exist and are suitable for Meerhoven. And within such a scenario, it will also become clear which role everyone has or can have.
Our expert within Gewoon Eindhoven can be your advisor in this. And we do have scenarios in mind that are worth exploring together. And in which the role of the residents.
The following parties did not respond: