February 8, 2023

“Tin Inn” First sea container hotel in the Ruhr region planned in Bergkamen

By Johannes Brüne – Hellweger Anzeiger

The Jockenhöfer wasteland is considered one of the major eyesores in Bergkamen. The young hotel chain “Tin Inn” wants to change that and presents construction plans.

Plans for a hotel at the Jockenhöfer intersection have been around a lot.
But now they could become concrete: Before the end of the year, Nico Sauerland wants to submit a building application for the site at the corner of Westenhellweg and Werner Strasse, which has been lying fallow for years. At first glance, this is a little surprising: Sauerland is the managing director of the company Containerwerk in Wassenberg (Heinsberg district), whose business field can already be deduced from the name.

But because containers can be used not only to transport goods but also to live in, Sauerland and his partners Ivan Mallinowski and Michael Haiser have founded another company that dabbles in the hotel business: “Tin Inn”. It wants to build “Germany’s first hotels made from sea freight containers,” according to its website. One of them is to be built at the Jockenhöfer intersection.

A hotel is created from 15 containers

Sauerland knows that for many people, the combination of the words housing and container conjures up associations with dwellings for construction workers or refugees. “Tin Inn has nothing to do with that,” he asserts, referring to the designs that convey at least some architectural ambition.

The overnight accommodations that Sauerland and Co. want to build are nevertheless composed entirely of containers and are standardized. Each hotel consists of 15 containers, which provide space for ten single and ten double rooms. Tin Inn calculates the cost of accommodation from 65 euros.

In return, future guests will have to do without a reception desk. “Check-in is done via a pin code,” Sauerland explains. This saves personnel and means low costs. These and the standardized construction method make up the business model with which Sauerland and Partner want to earn their money.

This is how the hotel is to look from Werner Strasse.

According to Sauerland, the first Tin Inn is to open in Erkelenz this year. Further container hotels are to follow in Montabaur, Hückelhoven and Heinsberg. All of these are not metropolises, but cities that are comparable in size to Bergkamen. No coincidence, Sauerland emphasizes: “You won’t find the big hotel chains there.” Tin Inn wants to fill this gap in the market.

There is also enough space for parking

Sauerland sees potential for guests in Bergkamen, because hotels are rather thin on the ground around Rünthe. The container hoteliers rely on a heterogeneous target group: Sauerland cites fitters as examples, but also a senior couple arriving for a golden wedding anniversary.
The Tin Inn people are attracted to the Jockenhöfer brownfield site by its convenient location. It also meets another criterion as a hotel location: there is enough space for parking on the property. Access is to be via Westenhellweg.

It takes a certain amount of imagination to envision a hotel on this space.
Photo: Stefan Milk

Sauerland hopes to offer the first overnight stays at Tin Inn Bergkamen as early as next year. The construction of the hotel should be quite fast thanks to the container construction method:

“It takes about three months,” he says.

But before the container builders can get started, they need a permit from city hall. It is difficult to estimate how long that will be. The application is as standardized as the hotel buildings, Sauerland says: “So far, we’ve submitted it in four cities, where it’s been approved without any problems.”