Bochum. The economic crisis has not affected the Bochum entrepreneur Reich. He has been manufacturing drive technology at Vierhausstraße for over 65 years, and he is expanding. "The old location is bursting at the seams," says Berthold Witteler, lawyer for company boss Herwarth Reich.
So Reich bought the city the 5000 square meters of fallow land on the opposite side of the street, where the old fire station was located many years ago. Reich produces 90 percent at the Bochum site; for couplings he combines metal with rubber, the company's special know-how. A small subsidiary produces in Poland, there is also a location in the USA and soon in China.
Witteler: "Not for production, but as a trading company for the Asian market. Material is also to be purchased there. REICH works with aluminium castings - the Chinese cannot do that". According to Witteler, clutches from Bochum are found in every second wind turbine, as well as in combined heat and power plants, tankers, excavators and trains.
18 million euros turnover
The company's turnover last year was 18 million euros, and 20 million euros are expected for 2011: "What comes next is an increase. The new location will house the mechanical production; the hall measures 1800 square meters and is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in March 2012. However, production will also continue in the old hall. 100 people are employed there; since the building permit was issued, six people have been newly hired, and more are to follow. Reich has invested five million in the expansion of the site, which is located in a mixed area.
300 to 400 trees are to be felled
In summer Reich had trouble with neighbours who were upset about tree felling on the property and that they saw nesting birds endangered. The construction site was then temporarily shut down, especially since it is not allowed to clear the ground during the breeding season until experts gave the green light; construction may continue.
Now the resentment of the residents could stir up again, because Reich has bought a small forest from the city of about 4500 square meters in size, which will be felled these days. The company wants to build a parking lot and an administration building there. 300 to 400 trees are to be felled, 83 of them fall under the tree protection statute, so that compensation must be paid for them (1200 Euro per tree, altogether 99 600 Euro).
Entrepreneur wants to inform neighbours
"According to experts, some of them could serve as hibernation quarters for bats. They should not simply be felled, but cut in slices with biological accompaniment; the animals would then be put into hibernation boxes and released in spring," explains Witteler.
He does not share the opinion of his neighbours that the woodland is a noise buffer to the adjacent A40 motorway. "Once the new building is there, it will have the effect of a noise barrier. REICH itself does not produce any noise."
The entrepreneur has learned from the trouble in summer and now wants to inform his neighbours by letter about further plans.
Link / source: www.derwesten.de/staedte/bochum