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Germany

Homeless Organization Wants Prison for Four-Star Hotel Project

An organization in Munich which produces a street magazine for the homeless is lining up a prison facility as a potential four-star hotel when its current residents move to a new jail.

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The only bars in the new hotel will be mini ones stocked with over-priced alcohol

It's a common complaint in this day and age that modern prisons are more like hotels, what with their cable TV and gyms. One homeless association in Munich is taking that perception even further by actually turning a corrective facility into a four star establishment.

The organization behind Biss magazine, a publication sold on the streets of the Bavarian city by Munich's homeless, is looking to buy the women's and young offender's prison in the Neudeck area and turn it into a luxury hotel. The building is likely to cost Biss in the region of 500,000 euros ($638,650).

Biss is looking to invest between 13 and 14 million euros in the project which will turn the prison into a 66-room establishment with an adjoining complex of 14 senior citizen apartments.

City's homeless to staff hotel

Obdachloser auf Parkbank

Biss hopes to give homeless people a chance to find employment -- and accomodation -- at the hotel

The association hopes to employ between 25 and 40 homeless people as staff in the hotel, providing them with the means to afford their own accommodation.

The current prison population will be moved to a new facility in 2008, leaving the 6,000-square-meter (64,500 square feet) building up for grabs. If the prison building is not given over to any official state government department, it will be made available on the open public market, leaving the way free for Biss to acquire the property.

The organization has already hired a design team to draw up plans for the possible make-over. Architect Henning Dickhoff from a+p Architecture in Munich told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the preparatory design work had been completed and a preliminary construction inquiry had been lodged with the city council.

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