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28 September 2023 - Mona Fendri

Bremen and Bremerhaven at the Expo Real 2023

Real estate

Energy efficiency and sustainability: Bremen's Property Sector in a State of Flux

The exhibition stand at the Expo Real 2022
27 seven companies from Bremen and Bremerhaven will present their innovative projects at a joint stand at the Expo Real 2023 © WFB/Jan Rathke

Bremen and Bremerhaven are in the throes of transformation: the property sector in the State of Bremen is focussing on energy-efficient development projects and sustainable housing and office space to ensure it can meet the challenges of the future successfully. Twenty-seven companies from Bremen, Bremerhaven and the surrounding area will present a selection of innovative building projects at a joint stand at the Expo Real trade fair in Munich, Germany this year. The event runs from October 4th to 6th 2023 and is one of the most important trade fairs for the property sector and for investors in Europe.

The crises triggered by the corona virus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and their consequences, pose new challenges to the entire property sector. However, despite these difficult underlying conditions, the real estate sector in the Federal State of Bremen still remarkably stable and robust. Even in these difficult times, the market for office space is still firmly on track and is able to meet increased demands for quality and sustainability, as illustrated in the Property Market Report 2023, recently published by Bremeninvest (WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH): After the record-breaking year of 2021, the around 95,000 square meters of rental space available in 2022 was still able to generate solid sales results of just under 100,000 square meters. The market for logistics facilities continues to be a solid anchor. For example, revenues for new-builds and renovations in 2023 more than doubled in comparison with the previous year.

"The large number of exhibitors underscores how important the property sector is: 27 companies from Bremen, Bremerhaven and their surroundings will be presenting innovative construction and urban development projects at Expo Real", said Kristina Vogt, Senator for Business, Ports and Transformation in the Free Hanseatic city of Bremen. Bremen's joint stand at the event covers 200 square meters and was organised by Bremeninvest on behalf of the Senator. "The State of Bremen's economy has fully recovered from the effects of the corona pandemic and has been able to absorb the shocks in the energy and raw materials markets, caused by the war in Ukraine, thus far. For this reason, the large number of exhibitors attending Expo Real is a hugely positive signal for the future development of the Bremen property sector."

Sketch energy house in Bremen's Überseestadt
Model project for climate-neutral and local energy generation: old cold storage warehouse in Bremen's Überseestadt district © Valerie Hoberg/Jan Rathke

Sustainable and climate-efficient transformation in Bremen's economy

At Expo Real 2023, the Federal State of Bremen will present itself as an attractive location with a focus on economic transformation. This is a key issue for the entire property industry, which is facing far-reaching changes that will affect how buildings are designed, constructed and used in future. With this in mind, it is the innovative, climate-efficient and sustainable projects that take centre stage. A prime example is the “Energiehaus” in the New Harbour District (Überseestadt) in Bremen. This is where a former refrigeration facility is being renovated and transformed into a state-of-the-art power distribution centre.

Bremen plans to use this pilot project for local, climate-neutral power generation and supply to drive forward the city's strategy for transformation and energy-efficiency. A hybrid heating network with a central storage area is planned for the power distribution centre. The centre will store power generated from renewable sources, such as the photovoltaic cells installed on all the rooftops, vertical wind turbines, heat pumps which use the surrounding heat from a nearby harbour basin, from the ground and from the air, as well as waste heat from neighbouring companies.

The new "C3 Bremen" logistics centre, operated by the BLG Logistics Group, is another a futuristic construction project with energy efficiency and transformative developments at its heart. An integrated environmentally friendly approach, combining the very latest in technology with effective climate protection measures, was applied at every stage in the planning and construction of this centre. The building's massive roof, an expanse of over 80,000 square metres, is covered by the largest continuous photovoltaic installation on an industrial estate anywhere in Germany to date. "Sustainability and energy efficiency are today's new normal", stated Özlem Ünsal, Senator for Construction, Mobility and Urban Development. "The important thing is to connect economic, ecological and social objectives with each other."

Bremerhaven: on the way to a green economy

Sustainable transformation as part of economic development also plays a vital role in Bremerhaven. Currently under development and located immediately next to the State of Bremen's largest nature reserve, the LUNE DELTA sustainable industrial estate will be the first of this size in Germany. The project developer is BIS Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH on behalf of the landowner BEAN (Bremerhavener Entwicklungsgesellschaft Alter/Neuer Hafen mbH & Co. KG). Flexible plot sizes, bespoke development and a large proportion of ecological spaces will create an attractive working environment in which businesses can flourish in the future. Key factor: every building will be supplied with 100% renewable energy.

Visualization of a commercial area on the river.
Visualization from the urban planning concept "LUNE DELTA". © Cityförster architecture+urbanism/urbanegestalt

The Werftquartier (Shipyard district) in Bremerhaven's Geestemünde neighbourhood is also one of the region's largest urban construction projects. Covering 140 hectares, this district will be an attractive place in which to live and work and will draw in people from surrounding areas. Its location, where urban amenities are in close proximity to waterways and green spaces, offers great potential for a new and creatively vibrant district with an exceptional quality of life, all of which will benefit the City of Bremerhaven as a whole.

Transforming the property scene through forward-looking urban development

Forward-looking development projects in city districts are also playing a key role in transforming the property market in Bremen. "The development of more attractive and sustainable housing and office spaces has the potential to revive entire neighbourhoods", stated Andreas Heyer, Chair of Bremeninvest. "The Federal State of Bremen has a multitude of interesting sites with excellent conditions for future-oriented districts, which will promote transformation and revitalise individual areas."

Tabakquartier in the district of Woltmershausen
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

An example is the Tabakquartier (Tobacco quarter). The Justus Grosse property development company in Woltmershausen is transforming this former cigarette factory into a contemporary urban space where residents can live, work and enjoy their leisure time. A modern district with a diverse blend of apartments, offices, parks, places to eat, cultural venues, a hotel, a kindergarten and host of other projects is gradually emerging on the 20 hectare site of a former cigarette factory.

New developments are also happening in the Überseestadt (the New Harbour District). The former Kellogg factory site is where Überseeinsel GmbH is building a new city district called Überseeinsel. Sited on the banks of the River Weser, new spaces for work, living and leisure, with diverse forms of housing and commercial units are being constructed, along with extensive green spaces and leisure areas.

There are a number of other noteworthy regeneration projects, such as the SPURWERK in Bremen's Neustadt district and the development of residential and office spaces on the former site of the Klinikum Bremen hospital in the Hulsberg district.

The future of Bremen's city centre

In addition to energy-efficient and environmentally friendly regeneration projects for various city districts, the transformation strategy is also of major importance to Bremen's city centre. A range of approaches agreed by the Bremen Senate, some of which are being implemented by Bremeninvest, are helping restructure Bremen City. "German city centres are in a process of transition, and that's also true for Bremen. For this reason, our primary task is to think and act creatively in working out new perspectives for the future of our city centres", said Vogt, Bremen's Senator for the Economy. "We've achieved this with a multitude of city centre initiatives, by finding short-term tenants for empty spaces, by acquiring new companies, running promotional tourism campaigns and also hosting numerous events in the city centre. The aim is to make the city centre a more attractive place which appeals to a broad spectrum of the public."

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