DutchAmsterdam.nl — A Muslim foundation run entirely by volunteers and financed by donations has rented Amsterdam’s most expensive office location — the historic Montelbaanstoren.
The 16th-century canal-side tower, built in 1516 as part of the ancient defense wall of Amsterdam, has stood empty even since it was fully restored in 2007.
With an advertised rent of €9000/month the municipality of Amsterdam was unable to find a suitable renter.
In September 2009 the City even advertised the prestigious office spot on Marktplaats.nl — an auction website.
At the time a spokesperson stated that Amsterdam Center borough did not want the tower to be used as a hotel or restaurant. Instead it preferred to the it used for offices for a company whose activities take place on water.
In the past the tower has housed a police station and later the offices for the city’s Department of Sewage and Water Management.
The City has now decided to rent the tower to Secret Garden, a foundation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Muslims.
The organization leases the office space for just €1500/month.
A spokesman for the City says Amsterdam considers it important that cultural and social organizations are able to rent offices in the city center. “That’s why we asked a realtor to establish a reasonable market rate.”
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