6th, Real Estate Forum Hamburg: Guest-Article by Dirk Hünerbein

6th, Real Estate Forum Hamburg: Guest-Article by Dirk Hünerbein 1024 683 Südliches Überseequartier

Southern Überseequartier: Urban Experience Space in the HafenCity

Hamburg’s HafenCity is undoubtedly one of the most important urban development projects in the world. There are plenty of reasons: the sheer size and long-term nature of the planning, the future-oriented orientation of the project, and also the immediate proximity to the port and city centre.  And don’t forget: the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, which has quickly become Hamburg’s longed-for landmark and an absolute magnet for visitors.

Those who visit the HafenCity therefore already can see today a lot of attractive things and gets a feeling for what is coming into being here. The residents identify themselves with their new city district, which not only offers an urban feeling of life but also attractive shops as well as art and culture. However, it is also noticeable that something is still missing so that the HafenCity can fully exploit its huge potential as a lively, modern and liveable place.

This missing building stone in the southern Überseequartier is brought about by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

With 419,000 square metres, 14 architecturally outstanding buildings, and an investment volume of more than one billion Euros, the southern Überseequartier is a trend-setting development for the entire metropolitan region Hamburg and at the same time one of the most important projects in the entire history of our enterprise.

For the development of the southern Überseequartier we have bundled the entire competence and international experiences of our enterprise-group and are working together with the strongest partners. The quarter stands for the vision of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield: we create urban meeting places which offer unique experiences to the visitors and invite them to spend their time together with family, friends or business partners. Additionally, we connect the most different uses in a well-balanced mix. We combine space for living, life itself, and working with attractive leisure-, gastronomy- and shopping-facilities for tourists as well as for Hamburg residents and all residents of the HafenCity.

This integral mixed-use-approach is essential for the functionality of the quarter and thus is also reflected in the entire planning. We bring people closer to the Elbe than anywhere else – be it for strolling, for enjoying or simply for admiring the cruise liners which will stop at one of the most modern and environmentally friendly terminals in the world. The quarter will be accessible around the clock, and in the evening more than 40 varied gastronomical concepts will ensure life in the HafenCity, whilst during tourists and working people will make use of the quarter’s facilities and infrastructure during the day.

However, it is also clear that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stands for extraordinary shopping destinations worldwide above all. We integrate around 200 shops into the usage mix of the southern Überseequartier, and in doing so we rely on local heroes as well as on so-called international premium retailers, the most attractive brands of all. These offers are complemented by marketing and event concepts which have been tested in the world’s largest cities – from Paris and London to New York and Los Angeles. The takeover of Westfield, which took place only in 2018, opens up potentials for us which are unprecedented in this form in continental Europe.

We are also setting new standards with regard to the quarter’s digital infrastructure. Both from a planning and a functional point of view the southern Überseequartier will be a true digital native: from intelligent building technology to smart logistic- and traffic-control systems to tailor-made solutions for retail and gastronomy concepts, all central aspects of a completely digital district have been taken into account right from the very beginning. In this way we are creating a flexible and agile neighborhood in which stationary and digital offers harmonize with each other as a matter of course.

In all project phases, we follow the ambitious requirements of our company’s CSR strategy “Better Places 2030”. These include a commitment to sustainable construction as well as the promotion of future-oriented mobility concepts. This is our guarantee for our commitment to local start-ups and young up-coming brands. And it is the basis for our social commitment at all our locations, involving all our employees and business partners.

Therefore, we are not only developing an ensemble of extraordinary buildings but also are creating an urban quarter that will be a gain for all residents, visitors, and ultimately the entire city of Hamburg.