“3 Questions for…”: Nigel Gillingham – fine dining expert

“3 Questions for…”: Nigel Gillingham – fine dining expert 1440 960 Südliches Überseequartier

In our series “3 Questions for…” we talk to people who are actively involved in the realization of Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier or have been intensively dealing with the project. A special focus in the development is the hospitality sector, about which we spoke with renowned expert Nigel Gillingham.

What was your first impression when the project Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier was introduced to you?

I just thought, “Wow!”. Working on projects in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East – this project is comparable with anything we have seen in other major cities in those markets.  Definitely world class.  It is incredibly impressive. Also the energy and excitement of the team leading the project. We see a lot of sites in major locations across the world. This one really stands out.

From my point of view, Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier will be the catalyst transforming the city’s dining scene into a world class offering comparable with the best international locations in Europe and beyond.

Credit: @Moka-studio

What exactly is so special about Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier and therefore so attractive for gastronomy operators?

The scale and size of the project, waterfront location and quality of public realm. And also the architecture: The high quality modern units offer clear layouts and ceiling heights. There is as well the ability to secure large scale ‘flagship’ sites either in a waterfront or rooftop location.

The mix of uses provides a very wide target market including residents, office workers and tourists. This is a world class site that you might expect to see in Los Angeles, London, Milan or Miami. Absolutely key elements for any large scale mixed use project going forward is the large element of the project designated to food & beverage and leisure. This is essential to attract the ‘click crowd’ and get them back into physical shopping and eating locations. Public space and the environment are above all the key to the new world that is emerging from Covid. This combined with the waterfront and high quality architecture will create a real point of difference from existing locations.

What is taken into account when selecting partners in the food & beverage sector?

Whilst Hamburg is a major international city – it’s existing F&B ‘offer’ is relatively regionally and locally focused.  Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier provides an opportunity to attract some of the best operators from the US/UK and Europe. This assessment is based on our experience of attracting international operators into locations as far afield as Paris, Barcelona and Berlin. Hamburg has all the key ingredients for this market including a wealthy and sophisticated market and Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier will offer a unique environment combining scale, critical mass, mix of uses and stunning world class architecture that will attract global operators.

But of course they are only one part of a mix of operators that includes the best of the regional and local offering. The focus should be on high quality ‘all day’ operations and not high end chef led restaurants that appeal to a limited market and for a limited period of the day. The team of the Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier should look at some of the leading comparable cities to see the mix of uses being offered whether Capital Cities like London, Paris or Berlin but also major regional cities like Barcelona and Manchester as examples. These show perfectly how a sprinkling of global/international restaurant and leisure operators combine with the best of the local market to create an internationally recognized destination for both locals and tourists.

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