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HafenCity 2017: Urban development with high-power innovation

Good urban development is characterized by progressive creative drive as well as multiple synchronized strands of development. That is especially true of HafenCity: In its western neighborhoods, Europe’s biggest inner-city urban development project is already a lively, culturally diverse home to 2,800 residents, a place of work for about 12,000 employees of more than 730 companies, and a center of learning for 5,000 students

Elbbrücken neighborhood will become a very densely built business and residential location

At the same time, HafenCity is an impressive huge construction site. Overall nine projects with around 180,000 m² gross floor area (GFA) are under construction, including the final plot in northern Überseequartier, the major Freeport, Watermark and Shipyard building site with its 70-meter tower and the first projects in Baakenhafen neighborhood. A further 320,000 m² GFA or so will be added in 2017 when residential development gets under way at Strandkai, including two high-quality residential towers (total of about 500 residential units), in the central neighborhood of Baakenhafen quarter and by Unibail Rodamco in southern Überseequartier. The latter project is unparalleled internationally not just on account of its intensity of mix and its sheer size: 23 percent of its floor area is for retail, with additional space for catering, entertainment, office and hotel accommodation plus approximately 1,100 homes and about 6,100 jobs.

Ambitious concepts in the east

Moreover in eastern HafenCity a highly urban center of innovation with excellent infrastructure connections is emerging. Planning is under way here for the latest in residential and office buildings with high sustainability requirements as well as for ambitious sustainable mobility concepts. HafenCity’s easternmost and biggest neighborhood, “Elbbrücken”, alone comprises 560,000 m² GFA. It has the potential for 13,000 jobs and great possibilities as an attractive place to live, with about 1,100 homes. Three projects have been allocated here so far (exclusive options with planning obligations) with more to follow in the next few months: In addition to a joint prevention center for BGW and VBG, two employers’ liability insurance associations, for which the architectural competition is currently running, the international photovoltaic company Enerparc is building its new company headquarters. The integration of employee start-ups is a feature of the innovative building concept, which sets ambitious sustainability standards, too. In addition, OVG Real Estate GmbH is developing an innovative “High-Tech Smart-Building” to highest digitization and sustainability standards that is designed to be a new motor for employment and offer a range of companies an outstanding environment for growth. Six further plots in Elbbrücken neighborhood are due to come up for offer in the next six months.

Unique high-rise

HafenCity is breaking completely new ground at the easternmost tip of the neighborhood, right next to the Elbe Bridges. An imposing tower block, rising to about 200 meters, is possible here, forming a new southern entrance to the inner city. Uses under consideration include offices, a hotel, public amenities and possibly residential. The internationally outstanding project is currently out to tender and could be allocated by the end of 2017.