Berlin-based entrepreneur Axel Bering has big plans to turn a forsaken leisure complex in Germany into a hulk of luxury vacation rentals—fancy apartments outfitted with heated parquet floors and extra-large windows overlooking a scrub of white water and the big, blue Baltic Sea. The catch? The standing structure, soon to be called Meersinfonie ("Sea Symphony"), was once known as Prora, a beach resort built from 1936 to 1939 as part of Nazi Germany's Kraft durch Freude ("Strength through Joy") venture. It never got around to opening as a vacation hotspot, though it was used as military barracks during WWII, after which the sprawl, meant to house 20,000 people, was abandoned. Prior to Bering's purchase of a chunk of "Building 2," Prora remained nothing but a siren song for vacationing spook-seekers.
The reconstruction, which was dreamed up a few years ago and broke ground last month, will turn a chunk of Adolf Hitler's project into 60 luxury apartments. Bering, who, according to a piece by Spiegel International, fell in love with the property on the island of Rügen when he first visited in 2006, reserved the first apartment, a two-story unit with a terrace, for himself. Bering and his partner say they've already sold 11 apartments, which go for about €200,000 ($257,400) apiece, and are actually "having trouble keeping up with the inquiries."
This project is not technically the first to use part of the abandoned, 2.8-mile-long complex; in 2011, the German government subsidized the creation of a 400-bed youth hostel in Building 5, which took $21M to renovate. No word on how much Bering and his partners are spending to fix up their slice of historic architecture—an overhaul that includes widening the windows, knocking down walls, and adding waterfront balconies—though it will probably be less expensive than the original undertaking, which, according to Wikipedia, called upon "all major construction companies of the Reich and nearly 9,000 workers."
· Luxury Flats Planned for Derelict Nazi Resort [Spiegel International]
· Hitler's Nazi Resort of Dreams to be Turned Into Luxury Apartments [Curbed National]