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HafenCity at MIPIM 2017: powerfully innovative urban development

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is presenting the full breadth of innovative urban development at MIPIM, the international real estate fair in Cannes. From March 14–17, 2017, Europe’s biggest inner-city urban development project is a main partner on the Hamburg pavilion – Stand R8.B20 in the Festival Palais

Major decisions on urban planning and gracefully built neighborhood developments are the determinants that are driving the progress of HafenCity Hamburg at MIPIM 2017. (© Stefan Groenveld)

The focus this year is on the final plots available in Baakenhafen quarter and the invitation to tender for the first residential sites in Elbbrücken quarter – in addition to information on how the project is progressing. Plus HafenCity is treading new paths for Hamburg with a site for an imposing, sculptural high-rise right next to the Elbe bridges. Following a public curtain-raiser in Hamburg, the project is now being presented to an international public for the first time at the real estate fair in Cannes. In spring 2017 parts of HafenCity resemble a major construction site – alongside the many completed areas. Altogether nine projects covering c. 180,000 sqm gross floor area (GFA) are under construction, among them the final plot in northern Überseequartier, the major Watermark, Freeport and Shipyard construction site with a 70 m high tower by the River Elbe, and the first projects in Baakenhafen quarter. A further c. 320,000 sqm GFA will be added this year when the residential development at Strandkai, including two high-quality residential towers (total c. 500 residential units) and the construction of the central neighborhood area in Baakenhafen quarter get under way. Unibail Rodamco has already started work on southern Überseequartier. It is not just its intense mix of uses and its size that make this project unparalleled internationally; retail space accounts for 23 percent in the whole of Überseequartier (north and south), with additional space for catering, entertainment, offices, c. 1,200 hotel rooms, c. 1,100 apartments and a vertically integrated cruise terminal. Around 6,100 jobs will be created in the process.

Ambitious concepts to the east

Planning is under way in eastern HafenCity both for the next residential and office projects, to be built to high sustainability standards, and for ambitious sustainable mobility concepts. Building has already been going on at Baakenhafen for more than a year, with 20 plots so far either granted options to plan or sold. More than 1,900 apartments, the neighborhood shopping center, a primary school with kindergarten, offices, a hotel and the sports dome are at the planning stage. Meanwhile the way is being cleared for early development in Elbbrücken quarter to the east. An urban commercial and residential district will be created here. Close to the city center, it will have excellent public transport connections once the subway and rapid transit stations open in December 2018. The gateway to the city center, it will become home both to major corporations and to small, up-and-coming companies and also be an attractive residential location with its proximity to the Elbe embankment, to Baakenhafen and to Oberhafen, as well as to verdant Entenwerder island.

HafenCity’s easternmost and largest district, Elbbrücken comprises c. 560,000 sqm GFA. It has the potential for 13,000 jobs and great possibilities as an attractive residential district with c. 1,100 homes. Three plots here have been allocated so far (exclusive options with an obligation to plan), with others to follow in coming months. As well as a joint prevention center for two employers’ liability insurance associations, BGW and VBG, for which the architecture competition is currently running, the internationally active photovoltaic enterprise Enerparc is to build its corporate headquarters here. The very innovative building concept embraces not only employee start-ups, but also highly ambitious sustainability standards. In addition, OVG Real Estate GmbH is constructing an innovative "high-tech smart building" to the highest digitization and sustainability standards. It will act as a new employment generator for a range of companies and should provide an outstanding environment for growth.

At Baakenhafen the four final plots for c. 250 homes plus commercial uses in an attractive waterfront setting are currently out to tender. At the same time, residential development in Elbbrücken quarter is about to get under way. Four plots with space for c. 220 homes plus commercial areas with an outstanding southern aspect right next to the Elbe will soon be on offer. Options could be granted on six more predominantly commercial plots here in the next few months, so that planning can start on exciting mixed-use projects comprising offices, residential units and an unusual congress hotel.

Elbtower: opportunity of the century

It is the powerful culmination of HafenCity development to the east and simultaneously the entrée to the center of Hamburg – a signal high-rise next to the Elbe bridges that demands special qualities: a sculptural high-rise, an unusual top to the building and sustainable construction to the highest international technical standards. This is the only point where Hamburg can really grow upwards without disturbing the historical cityscape and inner-city skyline with the Elbphilharmonie and the church and town hall spires. Uses that would come into consideration for the about 200 m high building include offices, hotel, exhibition and event space and possibly residential. Following a public curtain-raiser in Hamburg, the project is now being presented to the international public for the first time at the real estate fair in Cannes. The private developer is set to be identified in 2018, then it will be for the Hamburg Senate and Parliament to decide. Construction could begin in 2020.

“In its western districts, Europe’s biggest inner-city urban development project is already a vital, culturally diverse home to 2,800 residents, a workplace for about 12,000 people in over 730 businesses, as well as a place of learning for 5,000 students,” says Professor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chief Executive of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. “At the same time, a highly urban place of innovation with superb infrastructural connections will be created in the east. With its Elbtower, both HafenCity and Hamburg as a whole will be gaining a sculptural landmark of outstanding importance.”