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Mipim 2016: HafenCity Hamburg displays full spectrum of forward-looking urban development

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH will be presenting the full spectrum of successful, urban, sustainable and innovative city development at the MIPIM international real estate fair in Cannes. From March 15–18, 2016, Europe’s biggest inner-city urban development project will be a main partner in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg’s pavilion on Stand R8.B20 in the Festival Palais

From March 15–18, 2016, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH will be a main partner in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg’s pavilion on Stand R8.B20 in the Festival Palais. (© Stefan Groenveld)

For some time HafenCity has been regarded as an international model for successful comprehensive urban development, simultaneously taking into consideration local requirements and global exigencies. Projects going into construction or in the final stages of planning this year alone embody the complete spectrum of sophisticated urban development. When the Elbphilharmonie opens January 2017, HafenCity will also gain a spectacular international architectural landmark and a unique mixed-use concert venue. Built to plans by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, a globally unique architectonic hybrid has emerged over the past eight years comprising a concert venue whose main auditorium seats 2,100, a luxury hotel, almost 50 apartments, a parking garage and a 37 m-high public plaza. Blending historic port architecture with great contemporary building design, it is an outstanding symbol of HafenCity’s innovative character.

In neighboring Strandkai quarter, building works for the last large unbuilt site in western HafenCity get under way at the end of 2016. The ensemble will include two residential towers and several seven-story buildings providing nearly 500 apartments. This will lend western HafenCity a new, defining urban aspect on the Elbe, which in about 10 years' time will stretch for 3.1 km, continuing for example into southern Überseequartier, by far the biggest and most complex private building venture in Hamburg or northern Germany.

Europe’s leading quoted real estate concern, Unibail-Rodamco, is investing around EUR 860 million in the 260,000 sqm gross floor area (GFA) development. By 2021 the site will be transformed into a largely open, non-air conditioned urban shopping district, protected against the weather, comprising 11 different buildings (retail share: approx. 80,500 sqm) interspersed with well-connected additional public amenities. These include the vertically organized cruise terminal served by two berths with the capacity to process 3,500 passengers at a time, residential uses (approx. 55,000 sqm), offices (approx. 65,000 sqm) and hotels (approx. 40,000 sqm) plus entertainment (approx. 12,000 sqm) and catering (approx. 8,000 sqm). Überseequartier is thus set to be HafenCity’s most metropolitan neighborhood and also its busiest. The basis for building approvals will be established progressively during 2016, so that building can be expected to get under way at the beginning of 2017.

Meanwhile development obligations penetrate deep into eastern HafenCity, to Baakenhafen, where the focus of spatial development in the coming five years will be on housing, starting with development of the neighborhood center. This year a total of around 74,000 sqm gross floor area (GFA) will go into construction; exclusive options will be granted on about another 95,000 sqm, of which around 75,000 sqm will be mainly residential. Thus all of Baakenhafen neighborhood’s building plots bar three will have been allocated to developers in summer 2016. Meanwhile tenders will be invited this year for the remaining residential and commercial sites close to the Elbe there as well as for the first in neighboring Elbbrücken quarter, where a very densely built business and residential location will emerge that will be HafenCity’s second urban center after Überseequartier. Around 58 percent of Elbbrücken quarter is foreseen for office use and 15 percent for restaurants, bars and special uses – with a potential approx. 13,000 jobs; around 1,000 apartments are also scheduled.

“HafenCity’s progress is not only visible at the structural and physical level; the district is also a testbed for forward-looking urban development that successfully tackles demanding environmental and social challenges and devises new strategic approaches to them,” says Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chief Executive of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH.

When central Lohsepark fully opens in July 2016, HafenCity’s green urban qualities will be greatly enhanced alongside its blue water-related ones, right at the heart of inner-city Hamburg. At the same time, Baakenpark, the new promontory in Baakenhafen, is gaining physical contours. The new footbridge linking the promontory with the north shore will already be lifted into place this fall.

With the introduction of a specially developed neighborhood management structure and a sustainable mobility concept for eastern HafenCity, innovative steps are being taken towards the long-term integration of residents and local businesses, and in developing ecological mobility. In 2016, tenders for a car-sharing system spanning HafenCity’s neighborhoods and specifying a high proportion of e-cars will be invited. The intention is to announce the chosen operator in 2017 so that, by 2018 at the latest, a concept will be in place for all 3,000 households in eastern HafenCity that is internationally unique thus far in its size and form and that will reduce households’ reliance on private cars and thus their associated mobility costs.