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Billbrook Rothenburgsort © IBA Hamburg GmbH / Johannes Arlt

The Industrial Site of Tomorrow

At MIPIM in Cannes, Hamburg is showcasing two industrial sites for the first time: Billbrook and Rothenburgsort – tomorrow's industrial playgrounds

The world’s leading real estate fair will take place 15 -18 March 2016 in Southern France. Following the expansion of its inner city through the urban development project of HafenCity Hamburg, the revitalisation of the Elbe islands and Harburg’s inner port by the “Leap across the Elbe“ strategy, a third major development project will now bring Hamburg’s eastern districts closer to the city.

Within the framework of the concept “Stromaufwärts an Elbe und Bille” (Upstream at the Elbe and Bille Rivers), the industrial suburb of Billbrook will also be subject to modernisation. By highlighting their profile and by improving the quality of life, the industrial quarters of Rothenburgsort and Billbrook are to be transformed into magnets for modern industrial enterprises.

Securing Existing Enterprises, Attracting New Companies

In spring 2015, the Hamburg Ministry of Economy and Transport Innovation (BWVI) commissioned both HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation and IBA Hamburg to draw up an action plan in order to modernise and revitalise the industrial area of Billbrook / Rothenburgsort. Existing businesses are to be secured and to be offered space for expansion. Furthermore, labour-intensive new businesses with high added value active in tomorrow’s industries are to be relocated to the area. The action plan will be available in late April 2016. Created in co-operation with companies and local players, it will provide recommendations for the future development of the industrial site of Billbrook / Rothenburgsort.

A Project Area With A Past

The industrial area of Billbrook emerged at the beginning of the last century, when canals were dug and land was raised to create additional space for Hamburg’s rapidly growing industry. In the 1920s of the 20th century, the industrial area rapidly expanded from Billbrookdeich towards the south. Also in the northern part of Rothenburgsort at the so-called Billwerder Ausschlag, industrial companies settled. The early industrialisation was often accompanied by a very high environmental impact on air, water, and soil.

During the Second World War, air raids badly damaged Rothenburgsort and Billbrook. After the war, grounds were once again raised, often using debris. Even though industrial use still domination, the environmental impact significantly decreased due to better knowledge, advanced legislation, and higher industry standards.

Northern Germany’s Largest Industrial Site

Today, the area of Rothenburgsort and Billbrook located north of the rail tracks form the largest contiguous industrial area in Northern Germany outside the Port of Hamburg. Covering an area of approximately 770 hectares, more than 1,000 local enterprises provide work for more than 20,000 employees.

In the industrial area, numerous freight forwarders, warehousing, and supply companies are located. Benefiting from the proximity to the port and the city centre, they determine the external perception of the area. In addition, particularly the construction industry, the production of chemicals and plastics, wholesale, mechanical engineering and food industries characterise the area. The area is also home to traditional and more recent industrial companies and service providers of international importance, such as Still, Darboven, Rofin-Sinar, Albis Plastic, et alii.

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