Interview with Dirk Hünerbein: “We are creating a vibrant piece of the city here”.

Interview with Dirk Hünerbein: “We are creating a vibrant piece of the city here”. 1920 1080 Südliches Überseequartier

“We believe in Hamburg as a location and that the Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier is exactly the right idea and the right concept for this place,” says Dirk Hünerbein, Director of Development Germany at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), affirming the company’s conviction in the project’s future viability.

In our interview series, Dirk Hünerbein talks about the city of Hamburg, HafenCity, Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier and how Corona has impacted the future urban quarter.

Watch the full interview here

Mixed-use quarter for a vibrant city center

In addition to retail space, Südliches Überseequartier will also include offices for 4,000 modern workplaces, 650 apartments, three hotels with brands from travel and lifestyle group Accor (in cooperation with B&L Group) and a cruise terminal. Furthermore, URW is designing a varied gastronomic offer with more than 40 concepts as well as extensive leisure and entertainment areas. It is precisely this experience in people’s leisure time that has long been a focus of the corporate group. As a driver of innovation and digital transformation, URW creates unique urban meeting places in many places that feature the latest standards in the areas of innovation, digitalization and sustainability. For example, URW works together with specialized partners and start-ups on multi-sensory worlds of experience, virtual and augmented reality experiences. In construction and operation, URW refers to comprehensive catalogs of measures in the fields of ecological and social sustainability.

“With Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier in the heart of HafenCity, we want to create an extension of the city center all the way to the Elbe River and further enhance the attractiveness of the city,” says Hünerbein, explaining the thinking behind the project. “It is precisely these different uses and the accompanying unification of living, working and leisure that will make up the city center of the future.”

The pandemic as a burning glass

Crising downtowns across the country, massive challenges for stationary retail, booming online retail and advancing digital transformation: the pandemic is like a burning glass for many areas. “Even if these processes may also lose some of their pace for the time being in the period after Corona, they will still progress,” Hünerbein is certain. “In this respect, we in urban and project development must look very closely at how the change in (inner) cities will take place and how we can play our part in it. We have to help shape and try out new forms of urbanity. With Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier, we are doing this and creating the future of the sector, the future of the modern city.”