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: March 2020

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
  • 2020: Construction denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof documantation center begins
  • 2021/22: Construction of Elbtower begins
  • 2022: Opening of southern 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%
  • approx. 7,500 homes (approx. 1,500–2,000 subsidized) for approx. 15,000 residents
  • approx. 5,000 students
  • Building density: 3.7–6.1 floor space index (FSI)
  • Residential density: 118/ha (land area)
  • Employee density: 354/ha (land area)
  • 77 projects completed; 63 projects under construction or planned
  • Investment volume: private investment – around € 10 billion; public investment – € 3 billion, mostly financed from special assets fund Stadt und Hafen 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 2.0 million m² GFA

Usage Pattern

Residential uses
(indicative data)

  • approx. 3,000 residential units completed
  • price spectrum:
    – subsidized living: € 6.60/m² (first tier subsidy) and € 8.70/m² (second tier)
    – housing cooperative rentals: € 9.50–14/m²
    – controlled price housing: € 11.50-14/m²
    – rental market: € 12–25/m²
    – privately owned homes:
        - from approx. € 3,500-4,500/m² (joint building ventures)
        - over € 4,500–6,500/m² (developer-managed concepts)
        - up to € 6,500–15,000/m² (luxury concepts)
  • Current number of residents: approx. 5,000 incl. refugees
  • increasing higher proportion of households with children
    (HafenCity: 24.2 %; Hamburg average: 17.8%)

Office and services uses

  • more than 930 companies to date including approx. 45 larger firms
  • creation of up to 45,000 jobs (of which 35,000 office jobs)
  • current jobs: approx. 15,000

Selected cultural institutions

  • Oberhafen (creative quarter in former railroad sheds, some in use, some being modernized)
  • International Maritime Museum Hamburg (private, opened 2008)
  • Prototyp automobile museum (private, opened 2008)
  • Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall (opened 2017)
  • denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof documentation center (permanent exhibiton on the deportations from 1940 to 1945, opens mid 2022)

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 2025/26; operations begin at Baakenhafen 2022)
  • Baakenhafen learning and family center: four-stream primary and children's day-care incl. sports hall, training pool, education services (opens 2022)
  • Katharinen school (primary; since 2009)
  • six children’s day-care centers operational (of which one temporary), five more under construction or planned (total more than 1,200 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), 400,000 m² GFA,6,100 jobs (completion 2022) Completed in the north,
    in the south completion 2022)
  • Community houses Grasbrookpark, Lohsepark (start of construction 2020) & Baakenpark (construction starts at a later date)
  • Elbtower: Hamburg's tallest permanently used building (approx. 245 m, 118,000 m² GFA, offices, hotel, audience-related uses, visitor platform at 220 m, entertainment; construction starts 2021/22)