• Germany's news in English

Man buys city street for €1,000 in auction goof

The Local · 26 Aug 2009, 12:03

Published: 26 Aug 2009 12:03 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The development has made residents of the street anxious because they don’t know what his plans are, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Wednesday.

Wassim Saab, who owns a translation business in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf district, discovered online that the town planned to auction off the street for the symbolic sum of €1 after the original developer went bankrupt.

“We didn’t anticipate a fellow bidder,” building authority head Christiane Neumeister told the paper about the auction two weeks ago. “There we made a mistake.”

Inside the auction hall were only Saab, Neumeister and the head of the nearby community of Beetzsee’s building authority – who was supposed to buy the 5,200-square-metre street for €1 and take control of the road.

But minutes later she watched helplessly as the street – including street lamps and water pipes – was awarded to Saab. According to the paper, she brought just the symbolic €1 to the auction and it did not occur to her to increase her bid, though Havelsee’s Mayor Günter Noack told the paper she was authorised to do so.

“I still need to think about whether I will sell the street or charge fees for the irrigation and drainage,” Saab told the paper, adding that he will not “unduly stress” the some 100 residents nearby.

The housing development street is in the Briest district of Havelsee and was built in the 1990s by investor Ulrich Pietrucha, who had long been offering it to the city for €1. A corresponding contract was already at the building authority, but no one had addressed it due to reported damage to the street and the €100 to €200 notary fee it would have required to process.

“But the women thought they were clever and thought they’d get the street for one euro,” investor Pietrucha said.

Story continues below…

Their thrift could end up costing the town of Havelsee dearly. Residents could now sue for government liability of the new owner charges them extra fees.

Pietrucha told the paper the city must buy the street back from Saab – but experts estimate the true worth could be up to €500,000.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd