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Projects set to transform HafenCity in 2016

Over 2,000 new apartments, six hectares of green, fewer cars. Suburb on Elbe looking dynamic

Several projects are set to change HafenCity. One of those is the recently completed Mahatma Gandhi bridge that links directly to the Elbphilharmonie and is due to open in January 2017. This important pedestrian connection runs from Baumwall to the west of HafenCity where an estimated 2,900 visitors are expected on good concert evenings. To cater to these numbers, the new bascule bridge has been expanded by a broader access road (8.5 metres) for motor traffic and a five-metre footpath. Frank Horch, Senator for the Economy, Transport and Innovation, noted: “The completion of the new bridge is another big step in traffic preparations for the opening of the Elbphilharmonie.”

Before Hamburg’s new landmark opens, visitors can enjoy the view of the Elbphilharmonie’s 4,000 square metre plaza and spectacular vistas of the Elbe, Speicherstadt and HafenCity from a viewing platform at a height of 37 metres, beginning in November 2016.

Limited parking spaces per apartment

The first building sites on the nearby Strandkai will also be visible from the viewing platform. Around 500 rented and owner-occupied apartments including cooperative flats are being planned on three sites there. Over the next five years, the Baakenhafen area will become the main focus of residential building projects in HafenCity. A total of 436 apartments are to be built in the Quartierzentrum in the south of Baakenhafen peninsula. Overall, 1,800 to 2,000 apartments are being planned in the region.

And electric mobility is also likely to be innovative. Builders are planning only 0.4 parking spaces per apartment thus limiting parking spaces for households. Some of the existing parking spaces are to be equipped with recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Carsharing and local transport will boost the mobility of residents. Meanwhile, the Campus Tower in Baakenhafen will give rise to office concepts for start-ups and founders, rooms for scientific institutions while the neighboring building will have state-aided rented flats as well as owner-occupied apartments.

Artificial peninsula

The Lohse Park is on the verge of completion and will be celebrated with a two-day festival from July 9-10, 2016 and be inaugurated by Mayor Olaf Scholz. HafenCity’s biggest green area (4.4 acres) is currently being created between Brooktorhafen in the north and Baakenhafen in the south. Generous lawns with a network of paths and 530 trees will give both residents of Hamburg and visitors a natural and recreational area. The park will also have an integrated memorial site to commemorate Jews, Sinti and Roma deported during the NS era.

Meanwhile, the 1.6 acre Baakenpark, being developed on an artificial peninsula, will offer a different kind of verdant space. The park in Baakenhafen with the 14.80 metre high “Himmelsberg” (literally Heavenly Hill) will be built this year along with lawns, play areas and trees. A pedestrian bridge linking the peninsula with the river bank in the north will be completed this year. But the complex project will not open until autumn 2017.

No end to construction in sight

Commenting on the present stage of development, Prof. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Managing Director of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, said: “The projects beginning in 2016 alone or which are in the last stage of development form the whole range of ambitious municipal development. They go from complex large projects with international builders right up to subdivided suburb structures with a variety of builders in Baakenhafen.”

After a 15-year building phase, HafenCity is already an urban location with plenty of businesses, restaurants, hotels and cultural facilities and rising visitor numbers. Around 2,000 people live in HafenCity and over 5,000 students attend scientific institutions there. More than 10,000 employees work in approximately 500 companies. HafenCity is viewed internationally as a model of urban, sustainable and innovative city development. And foundation-stone laying ceremonies, building cranes and topping out ceremonies are likely to determine the cityscape until HafenCity is completed between 2025 and 2030.

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