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Lights Out For Red Light District

  • October 11th, 2007
  • Posted by Ingrid Rubie

amsterd-google-am-red-lt-dist-guide.jpgThe iconic prostitution windows of Amsterdam’s Red Light District may soon become extinct after the renowned property investor in the area, Charles Geerts, sells all his properties.

Amsterdam’s local news station AT5, has been speculating about the future for the popular tourist attraction.

“The buildings will be sold to housing corporation Het Oosten, ” the news station says.

“Although it is unknown what the new destination of the properties will be, most likely this will not be prostitution but residences.”


According to Time magazine online, the sale of these properties may not mean green lights ahead.

“The buyers reckon that the value of the properties may fall by $US21 million (A$23.23;, 11.10.07), a deficit that the municipality would have to fund,” Time said.

If from an investor’s point of view there are little benefits to the sale, why else would it be going ahead?

Amsterdam’s Mayor Job Cohen has supported the closure of the prostitution windows in hopes that it would alleviate money-laundering in the district.

He’s been concerned for some time that the liberalisation policy which permitted the famous street attraction, has brought in not only more money, but also a lot more organised crime.

Hence, the Mayor’s support for a real estate solution likely to generate demands for compensation by owners of properties.

“What we do want is to get rid of the underlying criminality,” said Cohen.


Mayor Cohen insisted that he didn’t want to get rid of prostitution entirely because of its history with the area.

By dimming the red lights, he hopes to attract an added tourist following for the city with interests beyond taking a peek at the world of sex and drugs.


“Large part of Red Light District Amsterdam almost sold”, Simply Amsterdam News, 5.9.07. (10.10.07).

J. Van Egmond, “Amsterdam Dims the Red Lights”, Time, 2.9.07.,8599,1664939,00.html, (10.10.07).

“Amsterdam draws curtain on sex industry as red light windows close”, Daily Mail, London, 21.9.07. , (10.10.07).

Picture: Google, Amsterdam red light district guide