Bremen, September 2016. Bremen is building – especially in the city centre and in Überseestadt, one of Europe’s biggest urban development projects. At this year’s ‘Expo Real’ real estate fair in Munich, Bremen companies will be presenting recently completed and forthcoming construction projects.
‟The typical Hanseatic reserve that we in Bremen like to show is a thing of the past when you look at the projects we now have on our agenda”, says Andreas Heyer, CEO of Bremeninvest (WFB). ‟In Bremen we have trailblazing projects that are bringing the city centre, Überseestadt and our industrial estates a big step forward.”
The city centre is sprucing itself up
‘Markthalle Acht’, ‘Kühne & Nagel’, ‘City Gate’ – a number of major inner-city construction projects are on the horizon for Bremen.
Like many similarly placed cities, Bremen faces the challenge of keeping the city centre attractive and competitive in relation to the big malls on the city outskirts. The latest surveys conducted for the 2016 Bremen Property Market Report show a constant visitor frequency for the city centre and growth in the pub and restaurant sector there.
A ‘shopping nirvana’ by the name of ‘Markthalle Acht’ opened its doors in Bremen’s city centre in September 2016. A protected Neorenaissance building on Domshof (in which the Bremer Bank once used to reside) was converted into an indoor market hall where traders from the region can sell their products and food. Nigh on one thousand square metres of fine wares can be found in the new ‘Manufactum’ store, where one can buy high-quality products for the home and garden, as well as traditionally produced foods.
Another shopping concept was recently turned into reality and opened by Bremeninvest in what used to be the ‘Lloydhof’ – CityLab Bremen. There were discussions about new ways of using the building, which at one stage was due for demolition, before it was decided to rejuvenate the location by implementing an innovative concept for its temporary use. CityLab gives start-ups, especially, an opportunity to offer their goods and to implement and test their concept as a pop-up store.
The range of goods in CityLab is very diversified and anything but orthodox: customised sneakers, a photo workshop with scrapbooking desks, do-it-yourself products, cardboard toys and games, clothing, pubs and restaurants, and much more besides. All the space in CityLab has already been rented out.
Retail projects are not the whole story, however – various office and hotel buildings are also in the offing. Kühne & Nagel, a big name in the logistics industry, will be replacing its current administration building beside the River Weser with a completely new complex, larger and with contemporary architecture, for up to 400 staff.
Bremer Landesbank recently completed and moved into its new building on its former site in the Bremen’s old quarter. Just a few hundred metres away, the Bremische Volksbank is yet another Bremen bank that is modernising its headquarters – to the tune of 6.5 million Euro.
‟Construction activity in Bremen’s city centre is intense. Commercial enterprises, hotels, retail stores – we are creating space and new opportunities so that the city centre can develop in new directions”, says Andreas Heyer.
Housing construction in Bremen’s Überseestadt
A stone’s throw from the city centre, Bremen has been building a new city area since the early 2000s – the Überseestadt. There are already more than 700 people living here (as of December 2014), and over 14,500 employees (as of December 2015) come here daily to work.
The redevelopment of Überseestadt is progressing at a very brisk pace. Special mention can be made of two housing construction projects in particular that are about to take off:
One major project is ‘Schuppen 3’, a dockland storage building that has now been sold to Überseestadt Schuppen 3 Grundbesitz GmbH for redevelopment. More than 450 apartments are to be built on the site, starting in late 2017. One part of the old storehouse will be kept intact and converted. This is a major project involving an investment volume of around 160 million Euro and is of key importance for further development of the area. Schuppen 3 is one of the last of the old harbour buildings to be go ‘over the counter’.
Tendering for housing construction in the ‘Coffee Quarter’ will soon be launched. In early 2017, Bremeninvest (WFB) expects to start auctioning three adjoining plots of land, totalling 15,000 sqm, in the part of Überseestadt closest to the city centre. The site has been zoned for mixed use, albeit with the greater part for new housing. Construction on the perimeter will effectively seal off the area for noise control purposes. All the other parts of the site are reserved for self-contained ‘Bremer Häuser’ (houses with floor plans typical for Bremen).
Tendering documents will be available, inter alia, on the WFB website at www.wfb-bremen.de.
Building for different branches of industry
Bremen is building for one of the cornerstones of its economy – the logistics industry. Two prime examples are the forthcoming enlargements of the ‘Hansalinie’ industrial estate and the Bremen Freight Village (GVZ).
By adding 50 hectares to the ‘Hansalinie’, right beside the A1 motorway, Bremen is enhancing its role as a centre for the automotive industry and providing extra space for suppliers to the nearby Mercedes-Benz plant, for example, the company’s biggest worldwide. ‟There 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.
Bremeninvest is also powering ahead with the new EcoMaT building for the aerospace industry. In this ‘Center for Eco-efficient Materials & Technologies’, located next to Bremen Airport, new technologies for lightweight engineering are being developed. The main tenant in the building is Airbus. EcoMaT is a key project within the State of Bremen’s economic policymaking, with major significance for the location in general, not just for the aviation industry. From late 2018 onwards, a workforce of 500 drawn from the business and research communities will work together under one roof in the EcoMaT centre, which will provide around 22,000 square metres of space. 58 million Euro will be invested in the project, which will not require any government subsidies due to refinancing with rental income.