Mixed-use district in Hamburg’s HafenCity
by Katja Laska (exclusively for EuroShop.mag)
This project mixes aspects that didn’t mesh in the past, but likely go together very well. The Westfield Hamburg- Überseequartier is emerging in the heart of Hamburg’s HafenCity. It effortlessly combines living quarters with workspaces, and blends culture, entertainment, and leisure activities. Let’s check out the highlights of this mixed-use project.
A total area of 419,000 square meters, 100,000 square meters of space for lease, a total investment of about 1 billion euros, 14 buildings, and 2,500 car parking spaces – those are just some dimensions and numbers project developer and investor Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) works with to construct a new urban destination: The mixed-use project Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier is currently being built directly on the Elbe River in Hamburg’s HafenCity – creating a one-of-a-kind mall. The new construction is designed to equally cater to employees, fans of shopping, tourists, and residents. The premises facilitate 4,000 workstations, 650 apartments, 10 movie theaters, over 50 gastronomy units and 200 stores, and include a subway station and even a state-of-the-art cruise terminal. After the first commercial space tenants, entertainment companies and retailers have also signed on. “This first major step in our leasing activities for the retail and leisure offer of Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier is an important signal for the project,” said Constantin Wiesmann, Director of Leasing Germany at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. What started with a groundbreaking ceremony just a few years ago, is quickly taking shape. Here is an overview in renderings:
Despite all the innovation and the benefits that the combination of work, culture and leisure opportunities hold in store, the large construction project also faces some criticism: an increase in traffic volume, particulate and noise pollution, obstructed views of the Elbe River, shadows created by the facilities over the Überseeallee are some arguments adjacent proprietors and neighboring residents bring forward. Retailers and restaurant owners in Hamburg’s city center also worry that an integration of the project with the city center as promised by the investors is unlikely to take place. On the contrary: they suspect this will prompt a revival of the HafenCity quarter and lead to the death of Hamburg’s city center. For now, the large-scale project is still in the planning stages and implementation. It remains to be seen which side turns out to be right.