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News: Berlin's urban renaissance

Thu, 22 Nov 07

When people talk about “Urban Renaissance”, they always have the “City Centre” in mind...

The reasons seem obvious: private investments are focused in the centre, the city policy works out strategies about recentralization, and all the discussions about architecture and city planning are concentrated on the centre. The big goal behind this process is the transformation of the industrial city to the post-modern city, resulting in the birth of a modern city of service.

Typical of a 21st century metropolis, the future of Berlin lies in the tertiary sector of economic activity. With rising visitor rates from 11 million in 2001 to an expected 20 million in 2010, tourism is a very important income for the city of Berlin, which has resulted in the conversion to the Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport, scheduled for completion in 2011 which will provide the capacity for more tourists.

Further economic draws are numerous national and international fairs (IFA, IAA, YOU), the growing culture industry (the 1,5 billion “Museums Island” project will be completed in 2012), shopping and catering as recreational events, entertainment business, and last but not least – urban living.

Magnet for investors

In addition, Berlin has vast potential for building alteration. A new center of gravity is the grandiose Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Berlin’s main rail station, which opened in 2006. As part of the government district, this multi billion project is a magnet for further investments. City planning competitions are done and there are already several similar projects (like office buildings for DB) which will start to fill up the empty hotspot areas.

Following the same vein, the area around the rail train station Ostbahnhof has recently been rediscovered by investors, drawing on the nearby sport arena “O2 World” which will be finished in fall 2008. Just around the corner, METRO and other companies have already established big shopping malls. A fantastic opportunity for investors, the city centre area between Potsdamer Platz and Alexander Platz, is today (18 years after the reunion) still not totally developed and beckons to local and international investors.

Berlin has perhaps best investment potential in eastern Europe, of this there is no doubt. And yet this is still not the whole picture of Berlin. You still have the residential projects of “Monroe Park”, “Puccini Strasse”, and the very exciting “Airport Tegel”, which is closing 2011 and has fantastic potential for a new residence district in Berlin!

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