For the building authorities of the city of Salzburg, there are no legal obstacles to using the former Hotel Kobenzl on the Gaisberg as a refugee quarters. That resulted in a collusion this week. However, the Ministry of the Interior sticks to it: the ex-hotel is not reasonable as a quarter.
The Ministry of the Interior will soon begin transferring 50 to 60 refugees a week from federal care to Salzburg state care. These will initially find a place in a large quarter in the Salzburg exhibition center – more on this in New asylum seeker accommodation for men (salzburg.ORF.at; November 24, 2022).
The municipal building authorities examined the former Hotel Kobenzl on the Gaisberg this week. Once a five-star luxury hotel, the establishment has been a source of debate for years. In 2015, the federal government rented the property as a distribution center for asylum seekers – for around 31,000 euros a month including operating costs. However, the building has been empty for almost four years.
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Building authorities: no legal hurdles for operation
The building authority of the city of Salzburg issued conditions for the operation of the building seven years ago. And gave an applause for it this week. The file has been closed. The municipal building authorities are of the opinion that there is nothing legally standing in the way of the acceptance of the construction measures imposed seven years ago in the Kobenzl operation as a refugee quarters.
Kobenzl: The building authority sees no obstacle to refugee quarters
Ministry of the Interior: “Quarter no longer reasonable for anyone”
The Interior Ministry looks different. It informs the ORF in writing: “This date of approval is not accompanied by an assessment of a possible site suitability, but it related to the facts and the building permit from 2015. The fact is: the district is in such a desolate state that you can no longer expect anyone to live there.”
The Ministry of the Interior therefore came to an agreement with the Kobenzl owners, a Salzburg hotelier family, and managed the end of the rental agreement by two years: from the end of 2026 to the end of 2024. Until then, however, a rent – albeit a reduced one – must be paid – for an empty building.