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29 September 2022 - Mona Fendri

The Federal State of Bremen on a joint stand at the Expo Real 2022

Investing in Bremen

Revitalisation of brownfield sites and sustainable development projects

Joint Stand of the State of Bremen at Expo Real 2019
Following two difficult years of pandemic, the state of Bremen will be back at the Expo Real in 2022 with a joint stand and 26 co-exhibitors. © WFB / Frank Pusch

Following two difficult years of pandemic, the Expo Real, one of the leading property and investment trade fairs in Europe, will this year be returning in its traditional format from October 4th to 6th in Munich. Along with 26 co-exhibitors, the Federal State of Bremen will once again be present, showcasing innovative and pioneering property projects to interested trade visitors on a 200 square metre joint stand.

Despite two very challenging years of pandemic, the Federal State of Bremen was able to look back on some positive developments in 2021. Last year, Bremeninvest (WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH) marketed 47.1 hectares of commercial premises – more than double the original forecast. Bremen as a whole is reaping the benefits: with revenue of €28.11 million, 4,037 jobs secured and 439 newly created positions, and €177.15 of private investment generated in the local area. As the results of the recently published Bremen Property Market Report 2022 show, the Bremen office rental market also witnessed a new record high of around 145,000 square metres in 2021, breaking the 100,000 square metre floor space turnover bar for the fourth year in a row.

At the Expo Real 2022, the Federal State of Bremen will be presenting itself as an interesting and high-potential business and property location. On behalf of the Senator for Economic Affairs, Labour and Europe of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Bremeninvest (WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH) is organising the joint presence at the trade fair, where 26 co-exhibitors from Bremen and Bremerhaven will be presenting their innovative and exceptional urban development projects. After two years dominated by the pandemic, the high participation of Bremen and Bremerhaven companies on the joint stand clearly illustrates the importance of the property sector for the Federal State of Bremen.

Bremen is developing into a city of districts

Some of the most important projects set to be presented at this year’s property trade fair by the Federal State of Bremen and its co-exhibitors focus on the revitalisation of disused industrial sites, with the aim of transforming them into attractive and sustainable office and residential districts. "The state of Bremen has many interesting locations that offer very good framework conditions for mixed-use “districts of the future” and thus have the potential to revitalise the individual areas," says Kristina Vogt, Senator for Economics, Labour and Europe. "With an overall concept of living, working and leisure facilities, these districts are not only interesting for Bremen companies and start-ups, but can also attract investors from other regions."

Wohnen im Tabakquartier
On the site of the former Martin Brinkmann AG cigarette and tobacco factory in Bremen-Woltmershausen, the Tabakquartier is a modern quarter with a diverse mix of work, living, culture and leisure. © Justus Grosse Real Estate GmbH

One prime example is the Tabakquartier district in Woltmershausen, which the project development company Justus Grosse is transforming into a highly sought-after location. A modern district with a diverse blend of work, living, cultural and leisure facilities is gradually emerging on the 20-hectare-site of a former cigarette factory. 300 companies have already moved in, 75,000 square metres of commercial space have been leased, and a further 24,000 are in construction or planning.

The SPECHT group and STEFESpro GmbH, co-exhibitors on the joint stand with the Federal State of Bremen, have joined forces in a project to revitalise the former production site of the silversmith Koch & Bergfeld in Bremen Neustadt. The project will also consider preservation of the historic, protected ensemble. In addition to six new residential buildings with 120 units, the new development includes socially-oriented child day-care centres and housing for senior citizens, nine creative lofts with workshop and gallery spaces, as well as open space areas, sports facilities and restaurants. A mobility concept and energy-efficient buildings are also planned.

The former site of the silversmith Wilkens in the Hemelingen district is transforming, too, with the construction of another site for the Union brewery scheduled for completion here by the end of 2023. The concept includes a new brewery with a restaurant, event spaces, a beer garden and larger premises for the Union coffee roasters.

Wilkens Silver Manufactory from 1810
A new world of beer, coffee & gastronomic delights is being created in Hemelingen © Kastens

Focus on energy efficiency and sustainability for Bremen’s property sector

Sustainability plays an essential role for a pioneering “city of districts”. It means, for example, an energy-efficient design for new commercial and residential areas, renewable energies for their operation, creation or expansion of green spaces, development of mobility concepts, provision of efficient public transport services, extension of the cycle path network, as well as car sharing and electric and hydrogen mobility. “In future, sustainability and energy efficiency will be the new standard,” commented Dr Maike Schaefer, Senator for Climate Protection, Environment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing Development. “The Federal State of Bremen is already laying the foundations to continue positioning itself as an attractive and competitive commercial and property location tomorrow. As part of this process, we have once again launched a housing funding programme with a total volume of just under €50 million, linked to the Efficiency House 40 standard. This makes us a leader among the German states. At the same time, we are also funding a 30 per cent social housing quota. Through these projects, we are contributing to the conversion of industrial wasteland, the transformation of significant urban sites and brownfield regeneration. All these activities are underpinned by continuous communication, early agreements between the city of Bremen and investors, and a shared understanding of visionary solutions.”

With SPURWERK, the Bremen project developer Peper & Söhne is introducing a complete concept focusing on sustainability and conservation of resources. A modern area for commerce, crafts and urban manufacture is being completed in stages on the around 90,000 square metre site of the former Neustadt rail freight depot. The planned measures here include the elimination of fossil fuels for heating and air conditioning, and the installation of photovoltaic systems on at least 50 per cent of the roofs. Ample charging points for public e-mobility facilities are also in the pipeline. The SPURWERK project is seeking to obtain the sustainable districts certification from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). This certificate is awarded based on environmental, economic, sociocultural, functional, technical and process quality.

Sustainable commercial development is gaining momentum in Bremerhaven, too. On behalf of the landlord BEAN (Bremerhavener Entwicklungsgesellschaft Alter / Neuer Hafen mbH & Co. KG), the BIS (Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung) is laying the foundations for the green economy with the LUNE DELTA sustainable industrial estate – the first in Germany on this scale. Key criteria: each building is to be supplied with 100% renewable energy. The holistic approach also includes a climate-friendly mobility concept. The district concept has been awarded a preliminary certificate in platinum by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). As the first flagship project, a recyclable start-up centre is being constructed here using renewable raw materials. Resources are regarded as loans – and users actively encouraged to save energy. The DGNB will present a preliminary certificate in platinum for the building at the Expo Real trade fair.

Neben dem größten Naturschutzgebiet des Landes Bremen entsteht in Bremerhaven das Gewerbegebiet LUNE DELTA.  Das LUNE DELTA wird von Beginn an als integraler Bestandteil der Lune Fluss-Landschaft geplant und entwickelt.
Next to the largest nature reserve in the state of Bremen, the LUNE DELTA industrial estate is being built in Bremerhaven. © CITYFÖRSTER architecture+urbanism | urbane-gestalt PartGmbB | Transsolar KlimaEngineering | BIS

The Werftquartier shipyard area in the Geestemünde district of Bremerhaven is also unveiling an impressive sustainability concept. Proximity to the water, green spaces and the city centre combined with access to leisure facilities, shops, schools and nurseries create ideal conditions for a pleasant and sustainable lifestyle. At the centre of the Weftquartier district is a planning area of some 73 hectares with around 600,000 square metres of new construction.

In addition to the environmental aspect, Bremen and Bremerhavener project developers are increasingly considering social elements of sustainability: accessibility, child day care centres, housing tailored to the needs of senior citizens, cultural and leisure facilities are delivering a complete package in the individual districts and facilitating harmonious cohabitation of varied and diverse target groups.

Competitions to revive the city centre

As well as a focus on district-level development, revitalisation of the city centre remains a major concern for Bremen's property sector. Across Germany, city centres are transforming and being compelled to devise innovative new concepts to attract customers.

In 2020, the Bremen Senate approved the city centre action programme “Bremen wird neu” (Bremen reborn) to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative is based on an array of measures including various city centre competitions organised by Bremeninvest (Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen). The aim is to revitalise disused spaces and give founders and start-ups, as well as established local players, the chance to implement innovative and creative concepts in Bremen city centre. "Retail has been facing special challenges not only since the Corona pandemic. In order to continue to inspire customers or to do so again and to survive in competition with online retail, it needs new and individual concepts such as the pop-up store competitions, which offer special shopping experiences," explains Senator for Economic Affairs Kristina Vogt. After the successful launch of the competitions in 2020, the next round started in 2021 and featured the "Pop-up store Gastro” competition and the second pop-up store competition for the retail sector. All four winners of the two competitions can present their innovative concepts rent-free in Bremen city centre until the end of 2022.

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