With developers the world over waking up to the scenic and commercial appeals of waterfront properties, dockside regeneration projects are spreading like wildfire. However, the most exciting has to be in E&V’s very own hometown of Hamburg, where the HafenCity is in the middle of the largest inner-city rebuilding project in Europe.
It’s already hard to believe that the area once held port warehouses and very little else. Now the island is full of trendy shops, up-market hotels, innovative office buildings and some of the most sought-after real estate in Hamburg. It’s not easy to build a neighbourhood from nothing, but the care and attention that’s gone into planning HafenCity has helped to attract professionals and families from the very beginning. At every stage, the architects involved have stuck to their mission to create one of the most sustainable, diverse and liveable cities in the world, asking early residents for feedback and adapting their plans to meet people’s needs.
HafenCity is designed to be a ‘district of short distances’, with gaps between buildings making it easy for cyclists and pedestrians to take shortcuts. While it’s possible to drive your car in HafenCity, the emphasis is definitely on walking, with around 70% of the pathways completely separated from motor traffic. Considerations like these have helped to make the neighbourhood a particularly welcoming place for young families, as well as business executives and creatives. At the moment, 14.5% of households on the island include children: a higher proportion than many other districts in Central Hamburg, including Eimsbüttel and Neustadt.
In order to attract a young and dynamic population, there has to be a suitable balance between corporate and creative cultures. State of the art offices have encouraged businesses like “Unilever” and “The Spiegel Group” to make their headquarters here, while the upcoming development of the Oberhafen warehouse quarter has already attracted interest from artists. The “Elbe Philharmonic Hall” is set to be one of Europe’s top concert venues upon completion, which could be as soon as 2016, while the Übersee district is packed with independent boutiques and upscale restaurants. During summer, the waterfront comes to life with fashion shows, live music and dance exhibitions.
The district isn’t quite finished yet: HafenCity is still growing, with plans to expand southwards and eastwards in 2014 including residential and corporate buildings as well as a new entertainment complex. This year will also see the opening of HafenCity University, with two thousand architecture students arriving to add to the neighbourhood’s already vibrant atmosphere.
With so much in the pipeline, HafenCity offers a unique opportunity for investment in one of Hamburg’s up and coming neighbourhoods. If you’re considering adding a property in HafenCity to your portfolio, speak to Engel & Völkers. With a number of offices in Hamburg and one in HafenCity, our real estate agents know everything there is to know about the area and can advise you every step of the way.
If you want to learn more about HafenCity, visit the official homepage.