Questions are being asked about the secret sale of The College Hotel in Amsterdam, reports Wednesday’s Volkskrant.
The design hotel, famous among international celebrities, was sold for the knock-down price of €15.2m to brand-new property company Nedstede in January, but news of the sale only leaked out last week.
Until then, the hotel had belonged to the ROC training college group which bought the 19th century school building in 1996, spent €14m on refurbishment and has since run it extremely successfully as a training hotel for catering and hospitality industry students.
According to ROC in the Volkskrant, the sale means the four-star hotel can remain a training centre. But critics point out that the ROC contract only runs for 10 years, after which Nedstede will be free to exploit the building in any way it sees fit.
Het Parool quotes a ROC spokesman as saying that the sale was forced through by the education ministry because the training hotel is a high risk investment. A large part of the sale price will be used to cover the city council’s overspend on integration courses, says Parool.
Property lawyer Dion Bartels is quoted by the Volkskrant as saying that ROC ‘has lost its mind’. If a training institute like ROC wants to sell a building, it should always be done openly, he tells the paper. ‘It is after all public money,’ he says.
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