The Hamburg Business Development Corporation (HWF) will take overall responsibility for marketing urban commercial property and industrial sites including development, advertising, contacting clients and handling purchase agreements, a press release said Tuesday. To this end, HWF has set up the Hamburg Invest Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (HIE). The move is part of the senate’s strategy to create new framework conditions for companies that wish to establish branches in Hamburg or to expand in the city. The aim is also to boost economic clout, to create new jobs and to secure employment in Hamburg, according to the Hamburg Ministry of Economic Affairs. This will allow HWF to make binding commitments to companies and to reach irrevocable decisions on allocating spaces for urban business development. In future, HIE alone will handle all issues related to developing, marketing, selling or leasing urban property sites.
Main point of contact
By pooling these tasks at HIE, companies in Hamburg now have a point of contact to help them find suitable property sites and manage the purchasing process. Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, said: “By founding HIE, we are creating a central point of contact that supports both entrepreneurs and founders in their search for suitable corporate locations. We welcome swifter, unbureaucratic allocation of sites. Our aim is to boost economic growth, to secure jobs and to create new job opportunities through the establishment and expansion of enterprises.” Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of HWF, added: “By founding HIE as a subsidiary of HWF, companies will find it easier to obtain the commercial site required for establishing a business and growing in Hamburg. By developing and successfully marketing the HUB+Neuland logistics park, we have shown that it is possible to establish companies with lots of jobs in Hamburg provided suitable sites are available.”
Schmidt-Trenz “milestone in developing spaces”
Commenting on the new company, HIE, Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg, said: “Founding this company meets a wish long held by commerce in Hamburg. It is a milestone in developing and allocating sites in our city. The new company will turn site allocation into a ‘service from a single source’ which will become more efficient and customer-orientated. This will significantly improve framework conditions for establishing a company and expanding in Hamburg.”
The inclusion of a 90-hectare commercial site in HIE’s portfolio has been welcomed as a very substantial step. Schmidt-Trenz noted: “That will speed up the allocation of sites and boost competitiveness. Now it is important to ensure that marketable property sites are permanently on offer so that we can pursue a supply-orientated policy in relation to sites.“
Improved planning for companies
HIE will assess the individual industrial sites and provide more detailed information and be responsible for valuation. The price of a site will no longer be based on ground value or valuation reports, but on the cost of development. HIE will examine all the sites for sale to provide early and sufficient information about the terrain and will give interested parties a reliable quote and information about possible risks e.g. condition of the soil, production waste, shortcomings in buildings and weapons.
Swift and unbureaucratic
HIE will finance the costs of examining a site in advance for companies. HIE will negotiate the purchase or lease agreement with the interested companies until a final decision has been reached on the price. The launch of HIE is likely to make allocating sites swifter and unbureaucratic. As soon as a purchaser presents planning permission, that party should be able to start building a day after sealing a purchase agreement and provided all of HIE’s requirements have been met. HIE will also be responsible for all the project development costs in relation to new and industrial and commercial estates.