Bremen, September 2015. Bremen is ‘the city with the short pathways’. This is partly due to its size, of course, but also to its smart approach to developing its locational advantages. Bremen has the right business environment on offer for almost every industry, combines that with attractive land prices and provides a service partner, in the form of Bremeninvest (WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH), that delivers one-stop business support on all matters ranging from new inward investment to new premises in the city centre and business start-ups. Whatever the industry, be it high-tech, port operations, logistics, service provision or automotive, almost every kind of business will find its ideal location in Bremen and the right environment to go with it.
This broad range of properties and services will be presented by Bremen at Expo Real, the international real-estate fair in Munich, from 5 – 7 October 2015. ‘Our presence at this year’s fair in Munich is focused on the ‘Hansalinie’ industrial estate and Überseestadt. In addition to new sites on offer and successful development to date, we want to highlight Bremen’s diversity with reference to these and other projects’, says Andreas Heyer, CEO of Bremeninvest (WFB).
'Hansalinie' industrial estate Where things are on the move
The ‘Hansalinie’ industrial estate has been fittingly described as ‘a grandstand seat on the A 1’. Barely a stone’s throw away from the motorway, yet with direct road links to the rest of the city, it is currently home to around 75 companies with a total workforce of about 3,000, on an area of about 90 hectares. For 17 years now, the Hansalinie industrial estate has been delivering on its promise. It is the right location for automotive suppliers and logistics companies, service enterprises, craft trades and specialist wholesalers – it takes just under 15 minutes to get to Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen.
The city of Bremen is now making a further 50 hectares of land available for new inward-investing companies, thus enlarging the Hansalinie industrial estate by around 50 per cent. ‘There has been and still is strong demand for sites at this location. The infrastructure is optimal not only for suppliers, but also for companies in logistics-related fields. The first sites in the new section of the industrial estate will be available from us at the end of 2016’, says Andreas Heyer.
Living and working by the water in Bremen’s Überseestadt
There is also a relentless demand for sites in Überseestadt Bremen. The revitalisation of the old municipal harbour areas, as a new district close to the city centre, stands out as one of the biggest urban development projects in Europe. The particular mixture of newly refurbished industrial monuments and contemporary architecure directly beside the River Weser gives the quarter a special flair for working and living.
Around 15 years ago, when development began, there were about 300 companies here, employing a workforce of around 6,000. Today, around 14,500 people work in Überseestadt, in approximately 850 companies. In addition to jobs, it is above all new living space that has now been created in Überseestadt. Almost 500 people live here in the meantime. By the year 2030, it is forecast that the number of inhabitants will increase to more than 3,000.
New apartments in Überseestadt will soon be completed and ready for use. Two- to five-room apartments are being created in the ‘Marcus Quay’ project, jointly implemented by Justus Grosse Projektentwicklung GmbH and GEWOBA Aktiengesellschaft Wohnen und Bauen. They are being built as part of the ‘Alliance for Living’ – a total of 250 apartments, distributed among four buildings, are available, 60% of them grant-aided.
In May 2015, a temporary ‘inhabitant’ moved into Überseestadt. Her name is ‘Alex’, she is more than a 100 years old, has just undergone a complete overhaul, sailed under green sails for many years and was at home on the world’s oceans. Now she is back home in her home port. The Alexander von Humboldt is a legendary barque that has now moved into Überseestadt, where she will be berthed for about a year as a hotel and restaurant ship at the Europahafen marina. In spring 2016, she will move to the Schlachte quay in Bremen’s city centre, where she will be permanently moored.
‘Überseestadt is rapidly developing and is changing face almost weekly. New buildings are going up almost everywhere, and old ones are being redeveloped. The area is also coming to life in noticeable ways, so even after work there are now more and more people around, right beside the water’, says Andreas Heyer.
From the well-established to newcomer, from logistics to key players
Überseestadt is distinguished by its special mixture of old and new, living and working. The Hansalinie industrial estate is close to the motorway and an ideal location for companies in the automotive industry. Competencies are concentrated here, and pathways kept short. Almost every location within Bremen has its particular attributes and its own character. The principle behind the Hansalinie industrial estate is mirrored in other commercial areas in Bremen. The Technology Park at the university, for example, is a concentration of companies and institutes in the fields of science and technology. The advantage is that pathways are short and that potential partners are right next door.
Pathways are also short in Airport City – a location directly beside the airport that is especially suitable for companies that are reliant on international flight connections yet nevertheless appreciate short distances to the city centre. Aerospace, research, academia, services and logistics all benefit specifically from the locational advantages of Airport City Bremen.
Bremeninvest is currently spearheading the ‘Centre for Eco-Efficient Materials & Technologies’ (EcoMaT for short) at this very location – a development centre for the key technology of lightweight construction. From 2016 onwards, renowned research institutes and partners to industry will be working here to develop materials, surfaces, production processes and new ways of building.
For logistics enterprises, the Bremen Freight Village (GVZ) is the ‘place to be’. For more than 30 years, this flagship area has been a guarantee for top performance – as a location for investment and in the logistics sector. More than 150 companies with a workforce of around 8,000 are based here. The GVZ covers an area of about 500 hectares and scores points with its ‘trimodality+’: as a logistics centre, it not only has ideal transport links to the road, rail and inland waterway networks, but also adds air freight to the infrastructures it offers, thanks to the nearby City Airport Bremen. For years now, the Bremen Freight Village has achieved superb rankings – most recently in 2012, when the DGG, the German Association of Freight Villages, examined the top 20 freight villages in Germany and verified Bremen’s top position. The level of interest in GVZ sites offered by Bremeninvest is accordingly high.
There is an area in Bremen-Nord that is totally reinventing itself these days – long-standing Bremen trades and industries are coming into contact with producers of modern technology, behind the historical Wilhelminian facades of what used to be the Bremen ‘Wool Combing Works’, the ‘Bremer Wollkämmerei’. Small and medium-sized enterprises in the craft trades and service sector, as well as metalworking, mechanical engineering, wind energy and logistics companies find ideal conditions here: direct road and rail links, and the riverside location provides access to the inland waterway network. Thanks to its location, the unique atmosphere in ‘Gründerzeit’ architecture and perfect transport links, the 2.6 hectares of net area still available harbour enormous potential for the cultural and creative industry (CCI) and for cafés and restaurants.