German media is reporting that an iconic building in Berlin that housed squatting artists for two decades has been sold to an investment fund for 150 million euros.
The five-storey Tacheles building, which was a magnet for tourists until its closure in 2012, was sold by the German Jagdfeld group to the New York-based Perella Weinberg Partners, reports said.
The dilapidated, graffiti-covered building will be renovated and turned into apartments and shops. There are also plans to stage cultural activities at the site.
"We are pleased to wake this site from its slumber," Leon Bressler, a spokesman for the US fund, was quoted as saying by the Berliner Zeitung.
He added that the project would "create a new attraction" in the capital's Mitte district, in former East Berlin.
Young artists flocked to East Berlin after the fall of the Wall in 1989, drawn by the low cost of living, and squatted or moved their workshops into disused buildings.
The huge Tacheles building, which stretches over 1,250 square metres (13,454 square feet), was first taken over by squatters in 1990 and accommodated dozens of artists for free.
At its peak, the 1909 building housed a cinema, restaurant and bar as well as artists' studios and galleries.
The colourful site became a popular tourist attraction, drawing some 400,000 visitors a year.
The last squatters were evicted in 2012 without resistance, though residents did stage a protest by playing a funeral march ahead of the police's arrival.