Bremerhaven, September 2015. ‘This year at Expo Real, in addition to established real-estate projects such as the LogInPort industrial estate and the city-centre ‘Havenwelten’, we are also presenting a completely new urban development project called the ‘Kaiserquartier’ ’‚ is how Nils Schnorrenberger, CEO of BIS, the Bremerhaven Investment Support and Urban Development Company, sums up the seaport’s presence in Munich. Bremerhaven’s success story in the real-estate sector is being continued, therefore, with structural change being utilised for new development.
Bremerhaven heavyweights: offshore wind power and logistics
Attractive logistics sites in the harbour district will again be a centre of focus for Bremerhaven when it presents at Expo Real 2015. For many decades, the ‘Überseehäfen’ in the north of the city have been the heart of the State of Bremen’s port operations and an important driver for Germany as a nation of exporters. Covering a gross area of about 300 hectares directly behind the container terminals, LogInPort is an important international hub for goods. Proximity to harbour facilities gives companies based there significant time and cost savings, at attractive prices. This locational advantage is exploited above all by industrial and logistics companies, as well as providers of port-related services.
Another locational advantage will be acquired towards the end of 2015, when construction of the Bremerhaven Offshore Terminal (OTB) is scheduled to begin. Bremerhaven is underlining its importance as the ‘home port for offshore wind power’, with big-name makers of offshore wind turbines and specialised research institutes. The new OTB heavy-lift harbour and the development of adjacent industrial land will provide the industry with attractive conditions for the production, storage and shipping of WTGs. Wind turbines can be loaded here directly from the production plant onto special-purpose ships and transported to the offshore wind farms out at sea. The areas available at the end of 2015 provide space for expansion to companies already located here, as well as for new inward-investing companies.
Successful ‘Havenwelten’ and a ‘royal’ quarter
The ‘Havenwelten’ in Bremerhaven are now being cited as an example of successful regional development of a seaport. In the early 1990s, at this historical site where Bremerhaven had once been founded as a new deepwater port by the Hanseatic City of Bremen, some years had elapsed since the harbour had last been used. To some, the site between the city centre and the River Weser, to the north of the German Maritime Museum, seemed to be a gigantic car park with some isolated, vacated properties. Others saw the area as a prime site for urban development with enormous potential.
Such opportunities normally only arise in cities undergoing radical transformation. Bremerhaven exploited that opportunity. After a mere ten years of development, new tourist attractions, a marina, an office/apartment building and attractive surroundings with excellent leisure facilities had been created: the ‘Havenwelten’. They give the seaport’s city centre a new face and have become an attraction for tourists and locals alike.
The development of that particular site is 99% complete in the meantime. Public-sector investments were followed by numerous and major investments by the private sector. Does that mean Bremerhaven is ‘done’? Far from it! The Havenwelten development has instilled courage and generated the motivation to progress further. There are new challenges that call for new approaches and strategies.
One of these new challenges is the fact that Bremerhaven is growing again as a city, contrary to all the forecasts. The structure of the city’s economy has also seen some changes. There is demand for attractive inner-city living space, not least so that newly skilled residents are enticed to stay. If Bremerhaven wants to sustain its structural transformation, it is imperative to continue its urban redevelopment, not just in the inner-city areas.
A new area is becoming the centre of focus, one that is far bigger than ‘Havenwelten’. The city’s urban planners have named it the ‘Kaiserquartier’.
It adjoins the ‘Havenwelten’ and extends to the north as far as the southernmost edge of the the Überseehäfen, covering an area of 29 hectares. On the west side, it is bounded by the Kaiserhafen (which actually date back to the German Reich, the Kaiserzeit) and in the east by what used to be the Kaiserstraße, or what today is the ‘culture mile’ called ‘Alte Bürger’.
This area offers numerous and highly attractive opportunities that are important nowadays for developing a modern and sustainable urban quarter. The Kaiserquartier is an inner-city location enjoying all the everyday facilities one needs. It is a quarter where pathways are short, not some sterile new development, but is characterised rather by a mixture of historical and modern properties, of living and working. It is an ideal point of departure towards a sustainable development concept for making the city more efficient, technologically more advanced, greener and more socially integrating. An urban development competition for the Kaiserquartier will be aimed at providing new stimulus and for pointing out the direction for further development over the years ahead.
BIS Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH
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