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Facts & Figures

HafenCity Project

HafenCity development: facts and figures

HafenCity Hamburg is setting new standards – at least in Europe – in successful integrated urban development that takes local requirements and high expectations of urbanity and sustainability equally into consideration. On an area of 157 ha, a lively city is taking shape, a new downtown on the waterfront with a fine-grained blend of workplaces and residential uses, education, culture and leisure, tourism and retail facilities.

HafenCity is being developed from west to east and from north to south. In the meantime, HafenCity has become established as a popular place to live and work. (© HafenCity Hamburg GmbH)

Status: February 2019

Stages of development in HafenCity

  • 1997: Announcement of HafenCity project
  • 1999: Masterplan competition: winner KeesChristiaanse / ASTOC
  • 2000: Masterplan agreed by Senate2001: Above-ground construction begins (SAP, now KLU / MSH)
  • 2003: Completion of first building, building starts on first neighborhood (Am Sandtorkai / Dalmannkai)
  • 2005: First residents move in
  • 2009: Construction of first neighborhood completed
  • 2010: Revision of Masterplan for eastern HafenCity
  • 2012: U4 subway to HafenCity opens
  • 2014: Opening of HafenCity University (HCU) in HafenCity
  • 2017: Opening of Elbphilharmonie concert hall
  • 2017: Construction begins in southern Überseequartier
  • 2018: Elbbrücken subway station opens
  • 2019: Elbbrücken rapid transit station goes into service
  • 2021/22: Construction of Elbtower begins
  • 2022: Opening of Überseequartier and new cruise ship terminal
  • 2025–2030: Projected completion of HafenCity (apart from a few buildings)

Basic data

  • Overall area: 157 ha of former port and industrial land
  • Land area: 127 ha
  • Expansion of Hamburg City area by 40% 
  • 10.5 km dockside promenade/3.1 km Elbe embankment
  • Proportion of public open spaces and publicly accessible private open spaces: 38%
  • over 7,500 homes (approx. 1,500–2,000 subsidized) for approx. 15,000 residents
  • Building density: 3.7–6.1 floor space index (FSI)
  • Residential density: 118 / ha (land area)
  • Employee density: 354 / ha (land area)
  • 68 projects completed; 71 projects under construction or planned
  • Investment volume: private investment – around € 10 billion; public investment – € 3 billion, mostly financed from special assets fund sales of plots in HafenCity
  • General planning basis:
    – Masterplan 2000
    – Masterplan revision for eastern HafenCity 2010
  • Deals through sale of land or exclusive options have been closed on around 1.8 million m² GFA

Usage Pattern

Residential uses
(indicative data)

  • approx. 3,000 residential units completed
  • price spectrum:
    – subsidized living: € 6.50 / m² (first tier subsidy) and € 8.60 / m² (second tier)
    – housing cooperative rentals: € 9.50–14 / m²
    – controlled price housing: € 11.50-13 / m²
    – rental market: € 12–20 / m²
    – privately owned homes:
        - from approx. € 3,500-4,000 / m² (joint building ventures)
        - over € 4,000–6,000 / m² (developer-managed concepts)
        - up to € 6,000–10,000 / m² (luxury concepts); individual cases e.g. penthouses over
          € 10,000 / m²
  • Current number of residents: approx. 4,000
  • increasing higher proportion of households with children
    (HafenCity: 23.8 %; Hamburg average: 17.8%)

Office and services uses

  • more than 730 companies to date including approx. 40 larger firms
  • creation of up to 45,000 jobs (of which 35,000 office jobs)
  • current jobs: approx. 14,000

Selected cultural institutions

  • Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall (opened 2017)
  • International Maritime Museum Hamburg (private, opened 2008)
  • Prototyp automobile museum (private, opened 2008)
  • Oberhafen (creative quarter in former railroad sheds, some in use, some being modernized)
  • denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof documentation center (deportation exhibition, opens 2021/21)

Education facilities

  • HCU HafenCity University (since 2014)
  • KLU Kühne Logistics University (since 2010)
  • MSH Medical School Hamburg (since 2010)
  • International School of Management (branch; since 2010)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (branch; since 2011)
  • HafenCity school campus: educational establishment with four Gymnasium secondary streams and three community school streams incl. three-court sports hall, poss. added residential (Am Lohsepark building opens 2022/23; operations begin at Baakenhafen 2021)
  • Baakenhafen learning and family center: four-stream primary and children's day-care incl. sports hall, training pool, education services (opens 2020)
  • Katharinen school (primary; since 2009)
  • six children’s day-care centers operational (of which one temporary), two more under construction or planned (total more than 1,000 spaces)

Special projects
(not including cultural projects)

  • Traditional Ship Harbor in Sandtorhafen harbor basin: 5,800 sqm floating square on pontoons (since 2008)
  • Ecumenical Forum (since 2012)
  • Elbe Arcades (since 2013)
  • denk.mal Hanover railroad station (memorial with three elements in and at Lohsepark, step-by-step completion since 2016)
  • Lohsepark (since 2016)
  • 1.6 ha Baakenpark recreational island (completion 2018)
  • Überseequartier: highly integrated mixed-use quarter (retail, residential, hotel, entertainment, offices, cruise ship terminal, gastronomy), 410,000 m2 GFA, 6,100 jobs (completion 2022)
  • Elbtower: Hamburg's tallest permanently used building (approx. 240 m, 105,000 m² GFA, offices, hotel, entertainment; construction starts 2021/22)

Press Contact

Direct press requests to HafenCity Hamburg GmbH:


Your contacts:

Susanne Bühler
Head of Communications
Phone: +49 (0)40 37 47 26 - 14

André Stark
Press Relations Marketing
Tel. (040) 37 47 26 - 21

Henrike Thomsen
Press Relations Marketing Billebogen
Tel. (0)40 37 47 26-20

Or use our contact form:


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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

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.