Handover at the helm of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH 

On November 1, 2021, Dr Andreas Kleinau takes over from Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg as CEO of the municipal company HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, which is now responsible, either directly or through subsidiaries, for three further major Hamburg urban development initiatives in addition to HafenCity. Theresa Twachtmann joins the executive board as Managing Executive and will succeed Giselher Schultz-Berndt on his retirement at the end of the year. 
The Mayor of Hamburg, Dr Peter Tschentscher, and the Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, have thanked the long-standing executives and welcomed the new team.The transformation of “more than 100 hectares of harbor edge” will be bound to take a generation, prophesied the then Mayor of Hamburg, Dr Henning Voscherau, when he first unveiled the vision for HafenCity in 1997. 

Nearly 25 years later, and about 20 years after the ground-breaking ceremony, almost all the 127 hectares of HafenCity land are fully planned or complete. Lively urban neighborhoods have been created in the former port and industrial zone. In a few years’ time this extension of the inner city will stretch right to the Elbe Bridges with the new Elbtower, visible from far away. The development will not stop there, however: To the east and south of HafenCity the Grasbrook Innovation District and the commercially dominated Billebogen are emerging, joined in the west of Hamburg by Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld. The municipal company HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (HCH) is responsible for all three new development zones either directly or through subsidiaries. 

The shaping of this new generation of urban spaces is accompanied by a handover in the management of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. The long-standing previous CEO, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, and Managing Executive Giselher Schultz-Berndt retire on November 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 respectively. Bruns-Berentelg was appointed to head HafenCity Hamburg GmbH in 2003, while Schultz-Berndt was already involved in the creation of Voscherau’s “HafenCity secret project” from 1996 on.

Dr Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg:

“HafenCity is one of the most attractive urban spaces in Europe. It sets new international standards of modern, sustainable urban development and has become a hallmark of Hamburg. A large share in this success is down to Professor Bruns-Berentelg and Giselher Schultz-Berndt. With their high degree of expertise and great personal commitment, they have played a major role in shaping the development of HafenCity. On behalf of the Senate, I should like to warmly thank Professor Bruns-Berentelg and Giselher Schultz-Berndt for their work and the related progress in Hamburg’s urban development. Dr Andreas Kleinau and Theresa Twachtmann can now build on and continue that work. I look forward to working with them and wish them much success in the development of Hamburg’s new places of the future: Grasbrook, Billebogen and Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld.”

Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Senator for Urban Development and Housing:

“Then, 25 years ago, as now, it was not only the sheer size of the project that was impressive, but also the bold idea of taking up and redefining the tension-filled relationship between the port boundary and the city center.
 For almost the entire duration of the development, Professor Bruns-Berentelg was the man at the helm of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, devoting himself with great expertise and unflagging passion to this important project. Our heartfelt thanks go to him and to Giselher Schultz-Berndt for their part in creating an urban development jewel with international appeal that is helping to shape the face of our beautiful city. Now it is up to Dr Andreas Kleinau and Theresa Twachtmann to continue the narrative of Hamburg’s urban development in HafenCity and the other project areas of Grasbrook, Billebogen and Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld together with many official, institutional and civil society players. We are looking forward to that and wish them all the best for their start.

Dr Andreas Kleinau, Chief Executive Officer, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and 
Theresa Twachtmann, Managing Executive, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH:
“Our two predecessors did an incredible job over the decades. The successful development of HafenCity has profited immensely from their tireless commitment. They also succeeded in developing robust concepts for the urban areas of Billebogen and Grasbrook, as well as jointly creating the conditions for the development of Science City. The job for the future is to continue the development of these four areas and finally bring them to completion: eastern HafenCity with its innovative and sustainable provision for living and working around Baakenhafen basin, and the Billebogen area, with its emphasis on innovative trade, urban manufacturing and services, which continues southward across the River Elbe linking conceptually in some respects with the new district of Grasbrook. There, in Grasbrook, we can continue to develop the vision of tomorrow’s city and at the same time create an important new link to the neighboring area of Veddel. Our newest area is Science City. Its character as a knowledge city links excellent research and teaching with entrepreneurial initiative, setting them in an urban context, with the addition of highly attractive working, living and leisure provision.
  We are excited and grateful to be able to give shape to these new endeavors.”

Professor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg

Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg was 
CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH from 2003 to 2021. He previously held senior positions with British, American and German real estate companies, including in management and on the executive board. In this capacity he also worked on major projects such as the new central station in Berlin and the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz, also in Berlin. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg studied geography and biology and is also a real estate economist (ebs). In 2014 he was appointed Professor (hc) for Integrated Urban Development at HafenCity University Hamburg. He lectures on major, innovative urban development issues, both nationally and internationally, and publishes regularly. 

Giselher Schultz-Berndt

Giselher Schultz-Berndt graduated in economics from the University of Hamburg in 1985. As a civil servant of the City of Hamburg, he held posts in various departments from 1986 – 1998 and was most recently head of the “Port Economy and Port Development” department in the Economics Ministry. After 1994 he was additionally on special assignment involved in the decision-making process for the HafenCity project. Following approval by the Hamburg Parliament, he moved in 1998 to HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (formerly GHS Gesellschaft für Hafen- und Standortentwicklung) where his responsibilities included financial management of the project and real estate business. Since 2001 he has been an authorized signatory and since 2004 a member of the executive board of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH.

Dr Andreas Kleinau
Dr Andreas Kleinau studied 
business administration at the University of Hamburg and obtained a doctorate in business data processing. He began his professional career in 1993 with Quickborner Team, a company specializing in organizational and real estate consultancy. Five years later he founded macon Gesellschaft für Unternehmensberatung mbH, developing location strategies, building concepts as well as innovative work and organization solutions on behalf of national and international companies, and turning the company into one of the best regarded consultancy firms in the German real estate industry. A merger of macon and Quickborner Team resulted in 2015 in combine Consulting GmbH with offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Düsseldorf. In an advisory role, he supported the decision-making processes for numerous major projects, including in HafenCity. Dr Kleinau joined the executive board of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH in fall 2020. 

Theresa Twachtmann
Until joining HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Theresa Twachtmann was Head of Finance, Controlling and Treasury for the public transport body Hamburger Hochbahn. After a degree in business administration, she began her career as a strategy and banking consultant at IBM in Switzerland. In 2008, she became commercial director of the prestigious Lucerne Festival and also completed a master’s degree in arts administration. She moved to Hamburg in 2013, where she initially took over the commercial management of the Thalia Theater and later worked as an independent management consultant for the Elbphilharmonie, among other projects. In addition to her many years of experience of management in the private, public and cultural sectors, Ms Twachtmann has also been a member of several supervisory boards. Due to her involvement in a wide range of projects, some of them international, she also has a broad understanding of urban planning and the political sphere.