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Hope for refuge Ostade 233

Alex van Veen

30 May 2008 - Residents and users of 'De Fabriek' at the Van Ostadestraat will be recognised as an interested party regarding the development of this location. A motion to that effect was supported by a large majority in de Oud-Zuid district council last Wednesday.

All parties except from the VVD find that Refuge Ostade 233 makes a valuable social and cultural contribution to the de Pijp neighbourhood that must not be given up. "De Fabriek" is an important motor of the creative industry", alderman Linthorst (culture) said. "Refuges like these act like magnets".

The adoption of the motion means that the tenants of Ostade 233 will be an active partner of the city council in the development of the terrain from the start. Most parties realise that the refuge has developed as an organic entity, through long and intensive collaboration. "We need to keep that in mind during the consultations", Linthorst said.

How different were the opinions of the parties on Ostade 233 when it was decided in December 2007 to demolish the building after the Ostade Theatre moves out in 2013. The parties agreed that alternative housing would have to be found for residents, but deserted the remaining enterprises, or overlooked them. "A very bad thing", Ron Kat (PvdA) said Monday evening during a special meeting of the Housing and Planning Committee on the issue.

Only by the end of February, the tenants of Ostade (whose lease will expire by 2013) were informed of the district's demolition plans. After an intensive campaign to save the building - through lobbying, showing council members the building and speaking at committee meetings - most council members in Oud-Zuid have changed their minds on De Fabriek.

Now that council members have changed their minds, it is likely that the collective, perhaps in a reduced form, will get a chance to continue its activities in a new building. That is, if the motion presented by GroenLinks and D66 is interpreted correctly and if politicians can be taken for their word when they offer praise and make promises.

A motion presented by Vereniging Oud Zuid, Amsterdam Anders / De Groenen and Pijpbelangen, calling on the administration not to demolish Ostade 233, was rejected by the other parties, to the disappointment of many residents and users of de Fabriek who felt that it would be very unjust if the building would be demolished only because the Ostade Theatre moves elsewhere.

Adding houses on top of the building is one of the options considered by Ostade 233. This would not endanger the current activities. But the ardent wish that the council will change its mind after all is still alive. Further, there are plans to use the space that becomes available when the Ostade Theatre moves out for a public function, unique for de Pijp.

This article was published originally on Ravage Digitaal. Photo from campaign website


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